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Get Ripped,

Vol. 66, No. 9

September 2007

page 214


64 TRAIN, EAT, GROW 95 The TEG men discuss what they’ve learned about building muscle—plus exercise tweaks for better physiques.

92 ARNOLDTHINK Bill Dobbins probes the California governor’s psychology of success, the thought processes that have led to his rise to the top.

104 SHOULDER SHOCK William Litz gives you a compact lateral attack for dense delts that look like cannonballs.

116 A BODYBUILDER IS BORN 26 Ron Harris helps prepare his young protégé for competition—mentally and physically.



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154 L-CARNITINE ArnoldThink, page 92

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L-Carnitine, page 154

How the new Arnold Classic champion did it—his training, nutrition and a few secret weapons.


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PLUS: •Hot Over-40 Hardbody Gina Ostarly (Wow!) •Legends of Bodybuilding—Kevin Levrone •Pro-Style Workouts With Victor Martinez

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Sagi Kalev and Heather Tindell appear on this month’s cover. Hair and makeup Yvonne Ouellette. Photo by Michael Neveux.

198 HEAVY DUTY John Little analyzes Mike Mentzer’s statement, “As the body changes, training requirements change.”

214 GET RIPPED! From the archive, Myron Mielke discusses a commonsense approach to etching in muscularity.

Shoulder Shock, page 104

230 LEGENDS OF BODYBUILDING Rod Labbe talks to Kevin Levrone about his bodybuilding career, the current state of the sport and Levrone’s latest foray into the movie biz.

256 HARDBODY Shocker Mom—Gina Ostarly strips down and pumps up for Michael Neveux’s camera. Very nice!

282 ONLY THE STRONG SHALL SURVIVE Bill Starr’s take on developing your core—for more strength, solid size and fewer injuries.

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28 TRAIN TO GAIN Joe Horrigan’s Sportsmedicine: Why Does My Shoulder Hurt? Plus, stretching, strength and size.

42 SMART TRAINING Coach Charles Poliquin’s tips on getting bigger and stronger fast.

48 EAT TO GROW Stubborn-fat busters, new beta-alanine research and natural sources of arginine.

82 CRITICAL MASS Steve Holman maps out how to get wide bi’s and tri’s. Also, his complete, quick 3D back workout.

86 NATURALLY HUGE John Hansen fends off a leg-training barrage and then outlines a size-building supplement program.


Kevin Levrone, page 230

Hardbody, page 256

Jerry Brainum looks at thyroid drugs and busting diet plateaus through chemistry.

244 MUSCLE “IN” SITES Eric Broser reports from the Web on sites by Dennis Wolf and Mary Lado. In his Net Results Q&A section he discusses triceps training and nutrition tips for mass.

248 NEWS & VIEWS Lonnie Teper’s gold mine of good stuff on the competitive-bodybuilding scene. Also, look for IM’s photo featurette of the Muscle Beach Venice Memorial Day Bash on page 254.

272 PUMP & CIRCUMSTANCE Ruth Silverman’s inside look at the women’s body sports. (Pretty pictures too.)

Pump & Circumstance, page 272

News & Views, page 248

292 MIND/BODY CONNECTION Randall Strossen, Ph.D., explains cumulative consequences, while Dave Draper says, It’s all in the mind, Smiley.

304 READERS WRITE Arnold, the Great; creatine cred; just say “know”; and HIT me again.


In the next IRON MAN Next month it’s our first-ever longevity issue: how to train, eat and supplement to live longer stronger—and more muscular too. We have a blockbuster interview with former Mr. America Jim Morris, who is now in his 70s—with current physique shots (you won’t believe your eyes!). Plus, we’ve got Jerry Brainum’s list of top longevity supplements, insights into growth hormone and testosterone and a look at drug-free chest training with an over-40 drug-free pro. Watch for the ageless October IRON MAN on newsstands the first week of September.

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Publisher’s Letter

Critical Mass Most IRON MAN readers know Bill Dobbins as an innovative and passionate photographer of fit and muscular women, but as “ArnoldThink,” his revealing portrait of Arnold Schwarzenegger, shows, he’s also an accomplished writer. If you’ve read my editorials over the years, you know I come back time and time again to Arnold’s wisdom. In last month’s editorial, which was part of our 60th-birthday salute to the Governor, I discussed a day I had recently spent with him and commented that I’d gotten a 12-hour crash course in effective management. In “ArnoldThink,” which begins on page 92, Bill draws on his own 30-year working relationship with Arnold to highlight the unique combination of attributes that have marked his success. While I’ve made my own observations about that subject, Dobbins’ piece gave me new insight into the way Arnold uses reality and self-criticism. In Bill’s description of the process, I’m reminded of the world’s greatest golfer, Tiger Woods. Tiger’s approach to self-criticism—that you be critical of your performance but not destructively so—is a huge learning advantage. As one of Tiger’s coaches replied when asked how a certain poorly played round would affect Tiger’s game: Tiger sees every experience as a learning experience. Arnold’s realistic view of the world, which lacks the destructive aspects that usually accompany self-criticism, is one of his greatest strengths—maybe even his greatest. An objective, constructive analysis of the situation gives both Arnold and Tiger an incredibly clear picture of what they need to do to accomplish the goal at hand. That’s the reason they’re both at the top of their game—because they live in the present and know how to keep reality in focus. I’ve known Arnold since 1969, and I can see that the attributes Bill talks about were present in his approach to life even back then. If you’re interested in what makes Arnold tick, I believe that this is the best single analysis of the traits that have informed much of his success. It could be a daily read to help inspire you to reach your goals and get the most out of your life. How did Arnold “learn” all of this? Did he learn it at all, or was it simply innate? My next step is to sit down with the Governor and ask those very questions. Speaking of thought processes, look for my new blog at Click Blogs in the top navigation bar to find my entries as well as the contribution of a host of IRON MAN bloggers. IM

Publisher/Editorial Director: John Balik Associate Publisher: Warren Wanderer Design Director: Michael Neveux Editor in Chief: Stephen Holman Art Director: T. S. Bratcher Senior Editor: Ruth Silverman Editor at Large: Lonnie Teper Articles Editors: L.A. Perry, Caryne Brown Assistant Art Director: Brett R. Miller Designer: Emerson Miranda IRON MAN Staff: Mary Gasca, Vuthy Keo, Mervin Petralba, Contributing Authors: Jerry Brainum, Eric Broser, David Chapman, Teagan Clive, Lorenzo Cornacchia, Daniel Curtis, Dave Draper, Michael Gündill, Rosemary Hallum, Ph.D., John Hansen, Ron Harris, Ori Hofmekler, Rod Labbe, Skip La Cour, Jack LaLanne, Butch Lebowitz, John Little, Stuart McRobert, Gene Mozée, Charles Poliquin, Larry Scott, Jim Shiebler, Roger Schwab, Pete Siegel, C.S. Sloan, Bill Starr, Bradley Steiner, Eric Sternlicht, Ph.D., Randall Strossen, Ph.D., Richard Winett, Ph.D., and David Young Contributing Artists: Steve Cepello, Larry Eklund, Ron Dunn, Jake Jones Contributing Photographers: Jim Amentler, Ron Avidan, Reg Bradford, Jimmy Caruso, Bill Dobbins, Jerry Fredrick, Irvin Gelb, Isaac Hinds, Dave Liberman, J.M. Manion, Gene Mozée, Mitsuru Okabe, Rob Sims, Leo Stern

Director of Marketing: Helen Yu, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1 Accounting: Dolores Waterman Subscriptions Manager: Sonia Melendez, 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 2 E-mail: Advertising Director: Warren Wanderer 1-800-570-IRON, ext. 1 (518) 743-1696; FAX: (518) 743-1697 Advertising Coordinator: Jonathan Lawson, (805) 385-3500, ext. 320 Newsstand Consultant: Angelo Gandino, (516) 796-9848 We reserve the right to reject any advertising at our discretion without explanation. All manuscripts, art or other submissions must be accompanied by a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. Send submissions to IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033. We are not responsible for unsolicited material. Writers and photographers should send for our Guidelines outlining specifications for submissions. IRON MAN is an open forum. We also reserve the right to edit any letter or manuscript as we see fit, and photos submitted have an implied waiver of copyright. Please consult a physician before beginning any diet or exercise program. Use the information published in IRON MAN at your own risk.

IRON MAN Internet Addresses: Web Site: John Balik, Publisher: Steve Holman, Editor in Chief: Ruth Silverman, Senior Editor: T.S. Bratcher, Art Director: Helen Yu, Director of Marketing: Jonathan Lawson, Ad Coordinator: Sonia Melendez, Subscriptions:

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Some exercises irritate the shoulder joint, causing cumulative damage.

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Why Does My Shoulder Hurt? shrugs and dumbbell rows. The problem here is that trainees sometimes relax at the end of a rep or may try to get an extra stretch. When they relax the muscles during an exercise, though, the ligaments take the burden, and the overstretch can cause pain and further problems. Imagine you’re overstretching the ligaments in the front of your shoulder as well as stressing the cartilage ring during the bench press, incline press and flyes. Then you add upright rows plus laterals performed with your hands positioned as if you’re pouring water out of a pitcher, finally relaxing your shoulder during shrugs and cable rows. You now have shoulder pain and don’t understand why. After all, aren’t you following the advice of the magazines, personal trainers and your training partners and mentors in the gym? The clinical biomechanics just don’t make sense. Modify your technique. Don’t go for the extra stretch on dumbbell flyes, do touch the bar lower on your chest during bench presses, do eliminate upright rows entirely, don’t tip the fronts of the dumbbells downward on laterals, and don’t relax at the bottom of shrugs or seated cable rows. The shoulder is such a hot topic that I’m going to continue to talk about it—common mistakes, modifications and new clinical information. Interest in the shoulder led me to cowrite The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution, which gave me much more space to address shoulder-related anatomical, biomechanical, clinical and training issues. —Joseph M. Horrigan Neveux \ Model: Greg Smyers

Weight training is a fantastic form of exercise. It’s changed lives and bodies dramatically. Even so, it can produce a laundry list of injuries. One of the most commonly injured areas is the shoulder. Why? The shoulder is capable of a tremendous variety of motions and has great flexibility—from 100mile-per-hour pitches in baseball to the butterfly stroke in swimming competition, nearly unbelievable movements in gymnastics, heavy weights being pulled overhead in one movement in the snatch and extraordinary performances in dozens of other sports we all know and love. That incredible range is permitted by the shoulder’s unique anatomy. The shoulder is a shallow balland-socket joint. Only a small portion of the ball is in contact with the socket at any time, and the joint is surrounded by ligaments that attach bone to bone. The ligaments can be stressed and overstretched by some weight-training movements. The socket is surrounded by a cartilage ring known as the glenoid labrum, and the same movements that stress ligaments can also stretch and tear the cartilage ring. Shoulder-stressing movements include the bench press, incline press, dumbbell flye, cable crossover and pec deck flye. They make the ball slide naturally forward in the socket, and that can stress the cartilage ring and the ligaments in the front of the shoulder. The ball-and-socket joint is covered by a roof made of bone and a ligament. Some movements can drive the ball upward into that roof, causing the rotator cuff tendon, biceps tendon and a fluid-filled sac called a bursa to be compressed, or impinged. The impingement produces tendinitis and bursitis. The movement culprits are exercises with internal rotation and elevation of the shoulder—like upright rows and lateral raises with the front of the dumbbell turned down. The ligaments in the upper and rear of the shoulder joint can be overstretched as well. Exercises that can contribute to the problem include seated cable rows,

Editor’s note: Visit for reprints of Horrigan’s past Sportsmedicine columns that have appeared in IRON MAN. You can order the books, Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and E.J. “Doc” Kreis, D.A., and The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Horrigan and Jerry Robinson from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 4470008, or at

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Calf-Raising Details Q: I’ve been using the 3D POF calf workout [from the e-book 3D Muscle Building], but my calves have gotten only a small growth spurt. I train them hard to failure and with end-of-set XRep paritals. Should I add more sets? By the way, I’m a skinny hardgainer type, but I’ve added lots of muscle lately with POF—just not on my calves. A: You’re probably too familiar with the genetic barriers when it comes to building calves, so we won’t go there. Let’s concentrate on a few things you can do to get your lower legs growing, despite your genetic shortcomings. First, what kind of shoes are you wearing when you train calves? We’ve seen guys in the Thick-soled shoes can hamper calf gym wearing army boots training and reduce results. and basketball shoes with thick, padded soles, which is not good for calf stimulation. You’ve got our e-book 3D Muscle Building; go to page 20. There we talk about the extensor reflex—the reason legendary trainer Vince Gironda used to yell at people in his Hollywood gym to train their calves without shoes on. Training calves barefoot causes the muscle to contract better due to pressure on the soles of the feet. That’s the extensor reflex. We don’t suggest you train calves without shoes—some calf blocks are mighty sharp—but we do suggest you get some of the new minimalist running shoes, like Nike Free. They have thin soles, so it’s almost like training barefoot (the company’s catchphrase for the shoes is, “It’s like running barefoot”). Two of the most important parts of the stroke on calf exercises are the stretch and semistretch positions at the bottom. Thick-soled shoes help you cheat with too much rebound. Thin-soled shoes force your calves to work harder down low. One other thing you should do: For your contracted-position exercise, don’t use the standing calf machine. You say you’re a skinny hardgainer, so you probably have low neuromuscular efficiency—less-than-stellar nerve-to-muscle connections. Some unilateral free-weight work will therefore help you realize more size. Try one-leg calf raises. They make you concentrate on one calf at a time to fire more fibers. Stand on a high calf block near an upright you can hold on to for balance (we use one end of the cable crossover machine). Hold a dumbbell in your hand on the same side as the calf you’re working, keep a slight bend at your knee, and try to drive up with the big-toe side of your foot. Do two sets of about 15 controlled reps for each leg—and don’t forget the X-Rep partials on the last set for each leg. Do those pulses down low— to force your calves to grow. Try one-leg calf raises—with the right shoes—for a few weeks, and you’ll be showing more calf flare as well as vascularity. You may even start wearing shorts to church! —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Squat or Not? Squats are by far the most productive exercise for the lower body. Because of the muscle mass involved, they also provide great overall stimulation. But they’re not without their problems, and one relates to depth. “The danger in a full squat, a low squat,” Arthur Jones said, “is not a result of the position of your legs in relation to your torso. The danger is a result of the direction from which the force is imposed.” The force is trying to bend the bones of your lower leg and pull your knee apart—the same as a leg extension. Although the direction of force is worse in a leg extension, the amount of force is greater in a squat. Results are about the same. Nevertheless, Jones had trainees and bodybuilders perform squats to a level where their thighs, in photographs, were below parallel to the floor. According to Ellington Darden, Ph.D., who worked for Jones, “Squats should be carried to a point where the thighs first start to contact the backs of the calves. At that point the squat should be stopped by muscular action instead of by bouncing the thighs off the calves. Performed in the correct manner, there is no danger to the knees. On the contrary, squats can do more to prevent knee injuries than any other barbell exercise.” —Gary Bannister In Arthur’s Shadow—Daily Musings on Exercise: A Tribute to Arthur Jones

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Reasons to Lift

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Q: Why do you their aerobics-trained believe that liftcounterparts. Weight ing weights is the training increases most important muscle size, burns form of fitness? bodyfat and reshapes A: Weight trainthe body. People ing increases bone who do aerobics only density, provided you have bodies that are take extra calcium generally less muscufrom supplements lar and tend to hold or eat calcium-rich more bodyfat. In fact, foods. Weight trainif you weight train ing has an anti-aging moderately heavy effect because, as a and fast, you probweight-bearing exerably don’t even need cise, it gives the body to do aerobics. a reason to absorb Because a properly more calcium. As weight-trained body many double-blind is healthier and more studies have demonaesthetically pleasing, strated, if you don’t weight training builds do weight-bearing self-confidence. exercises, your body By merely taking won’t absorb any up weight trainof the calcium you ing and its healthful take in. It may end lifestyle, many have up in your kidneys turned their lives in the form of kidney around. I know that stones. can happen because Aging and death it happened to me. Weight training keeps your joints strong and hormone are part of life; howHaving left home levels higher for an improved quality of life as you age. ever, there are many at a young age for ways of slowing the financial reasons, I had aging process. One of the most important biological markto take life by the horns. By 19, I was in the United States ers of aging is muscle loss. Weight training can slow that Air Force, and my life was very different from the lives of to a crawl, and it can help the body produce more growth crime so common among the peers I’d left behind. Lifting hormone, which in and of itself helps preserve muscle, as weights was a big reason. I never would have accomplished well as heal injuries, improve skin tone, revitalize sex drive so much or become the person I am today without it. The and beef up tendons and ligaments. dedication, discipline and self-esteem that weight training Essentially, weight training improves the quality of life. can produce can help every man, woman and teenager go Most people who train moderately with weights will have forward. —Paul Burke nearly pain-free joints their entire lives. (That’s also a reason not to train with weights that are too heavy.) Editor’s note: To contact Training with weights gives you a sense of well-being Paul Burke, write to him via e-mail because it encourages the release of endorphins from the at Burke has hypothalamus, the brain’s control central. That feeling of a master’s degree in Integrated well-being can last for up to eight hours after training. In Studies from Cambridge College in fact, studies have shown that weight training is far more Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s effective than many serotonin reuptake inhibitors in generatbeen a champion bodybuilder and ing it. arm wrestler, and he’s considered Training with weights is twice as effective at burning fat a leader in the field of over-40 as doing aerobics. No, that’s not a typo. The simple fact fitness training. You can purchase is that the more muscle mass you carry on your body, the his book Burke’s Law—a New more fat you’ll burn—even at rest. Muscle stokes the meFitness Paradigm for the Mature tabolism long after training is over. The most you can expect Male, from Home Gym Warehouse. from doing aerobics only is to burn off blood glucose first Call (800) 447-0008, or visit www. and then some stored fat. His “Burke’s Law” training DVD is also In most cases, weight-trained bodies look better than now available. Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin



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Stretching, Strength and Size A major law of exercise physiology is the specificity-of-exercise rule: To get stronger, you overload the muscles with progressively heavier weights. To build endurance, you do aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate to a certain range. To increase flexibility, you stretch—but when? Many coaches have their athletes engage in extensive preactivity stretch routines with the goal of preventing injuries. The theory: Stretching warms up and loosens the muscles, as tight muscles are more prone to injury. Yet under the objective eye of cold science that long-held notion doesn’t hold up. In fact, there’s little or no scientific evidence to prove that stretching before exercise prevents injury. The confusion stems from a failure to distinguish a warmup from a stretch routine. Extensive evidence confirms that warmups prevent injuries. In a typical bodybuilding workout an effective warmup consists of one or two light sets of an exercise. The objective is to increase intramuscular temperature, which in turn decreases muscle viscosity, making for more fluid movement when you move on to a heavier weight. Stretching, however, can be counterproductive. Several recent studies have indicted pretraining stretching as a cause of muscle-strength loss, notably a loss of strength varying from 4.5 percent to 28 percent when stretching is done before heavy weight training. The strength loss is most often attributed to a drop in muscle tension. Strength requires a certain level of tension within muscle, and stretching can deactivate some of that. Other studies show that stretching decreases motor unit activation. In simple terms, stretching interferes with the neural control of muscles, leading to a weaker contraction. One experiment looking at that issue found a 28 percent drop in maximum voluntary muscle contraction, which remained depressed by 9 percent an hour after the stretching ended. Stretching may interfere with the muscle neural response by activating receptors in muscles, such as the Golgi tendon organs, which respond to muscle tension. Stretching decreases the viscosity of tendons, letting muscle fibers slide with less resistance. In plain English, that means a weaker muscle contraction. On a molecular level, stretching activates a muscle protein called titin that’s responsible for muscular elasticity. While stretching may be counterproductive to increasing muscle size and strength, other factors make it beneficial when you do it at the right time. For example, stretching

affects hormones. Animal studies, mainly with mice and rabbits, show that stretching specifically increases the release in muscle of insulinlike growth factor 1. IGF-1 is considered the primary anabolic mechanism for releasing growth hormone and is essential for muscular growth and repair following exercise. In addition, stretching is the primary stimulus to the intramuscular production of a variant of IGF-1 called mechanogrowth factor, which may be the most anabolic muscle hormone factor of all. MGF helps activate satellite cells, which are required for muscle repair and growth. Doing a prestretch before every rep is a good way to take advantage of the benefits of stretching. It not only increases the strength of the contraction of the muscle trained but also activates the stretch response that promotes release of the intramuscular hormonal factors. Stretching in this manner won’t weaken muscles but will strengthen them. On the other hand, the common practice of stretching a muscle between sets is not a good idea, based on existing research. Bodybuilders who think they’re helping the muscle recover between sets are in fact weakening it and even setting themselves up for injury. The best time to perform a stretch routine would be independent from a weight workout or following a workout. There’s even debate about the best way to stretch. The type of stretching most often recommended is static. You get into a stretch position and hold it for 10 to 30 seconds. The usual advice is to avoid ballistic stretching, in which you do short, bouncy movements in a stretch position, but bouncy movements activate the muscle sense organs and thus shorten the muscle—the opposite of what you want stretching to accomplish. Still, ballistic stretching can be useful for increasing tendon flexibility, according to recent research. It may be useful for activities that involve an intense stretch-shortening cycle, which most often places stress on tendons. Apparently, ballistic stretching conditions tendons for that kind of activity, increasing tendon flexibility and preventing injuries resulting from sudden force. —Jerry Brainum Neveux \ Model: Ron Harris



Witvrouw, E., et al. (2007). The role of stretching in tendon injuries. Br J Sports Med. 41:224-26.

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Do You Know Your Exercise Categorization? The leg extension is a single-joint exercise for the quads, whereas the leg press and squats are multijoint, or compound, movements.

Exercises come in two basic types: multijoint movements, which are often called compound exercises, and single-joint ones, which are often called isolation exercises. The squat, for instance, involves movement at more than one joint and thus affects a lot of muscles—primarily those of the thighs, buttocks and lower back. The leg extension— straightening your knee against resistance at the ankles while seated—is a single-joint exercise because it involves only the knee. The leg extension primarily targets the quadriceps, or thigh muscles. Compound exercises are often called big, or core, movements, whereas single-joint exercises are labeled small, auxiliary movements. A prudent mixture of both usually gives you balanced development. That’s a simplification, of course. Some single-joint exercises work much larger areas of musculature than others, and it’s not accurate to call all of them “small.” Further, some of the big exercises aren’t so big, and single-joint exercises rarely involve only a single joint, as other joints and bodyparts get recruited to some degree. So while the single-joint and multijoint labels are used freely to differentiate between the two groups, technically they’re inaccurate.

Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat

Neveux \ Model: David Dorsey



There’s another pair of labels that are sometimes used for the two categories: muscle builders and muscle refiners. The multijoint exercises are said to be the builders and the singlejoint exercises the refiners. Ah, but that, too, is a simplification. Both groups of exercises are potential builders, although a multijoint exercise typically works more mass than a singlejoint exercise. That means the former has more potential to build overall muscle than the latter. Still, depending on the exercises being compared, a given multijoint exercise may not build as much muscle as a single-joint exercise in the particular muscle(s) that both train. The work of the former is dispersed, but that of the latter is focused. A multijoint exercise works multiple muscles simultaneously by spreading the load over them, and they share the load and benefits. The body can be trained using only a handful of compound movements. That has particular value if you’re pressed for time or limited on equipment. Beyond the beginner stage, though, there are times when you want to give exclusive or nearly exclusive priority to multijoint exercises. Trainees interested in competitive lifting must use multijoint exercises. Even so, only single-joint exercises can provide meaningful work for some muscles. They’re sometimes essential for direct, specific and controlled exercise of a particular muscle or muscle group when highly controlled, safe work is needed, such as in rehabilitation. It’s impractical, however, to train the entire body using singlejoint exercises only. Imagine the number of exercises that you’d have to do. Generally, multijoint exercises are more demanding than single-joint ones, and hard work on multijoint exercises produces a lot of growth stimulation as well as anabolic hormone output for both the muscles directly involved in the exercises and, to a degree, those indirectly involved. Most single-joint exercises don’t have much indirect effect. Done in excess, however, they rob the recuperative system of its reserves, thus restraining, perhaps preventing, progress in all exercises. Too many multijoint exercises would have the same negative effect. The key is to avoid an excess of exercise in total. Treat both groups seriously. Regardless of the category an exercise belongs to, perform it properly. Use correct technique, control and discipline and—once you’re beyond your first six months or so of training—effort. —Stuart McRobert Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of a new 638page opus on bodybuilding, Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or

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Steroids: Maybe They Really Can Kill You


Push/Pull Bull? A story about Mr. Olympia Lee Haney drives home a point about minimal overlap in a training split. Haney used to follow the push/pull split that was popular in his day. He would train for three days on/one off. Day 1: Chest, shoulders, triceps Day 2: Legs Day 3: Back, biceps The gains weren’t great, and Mr. O’s shoulders were hurting, thanks to the triple assault on that vulnerable joint on day 1. Haney was confident enough to admit that he did not have all the answers. Someone suggested that he switch to this arrangement: Day 1: Chest, biceps, triceps Day 2: Legs Day 3: Shoulders, back

Neveux \ Model: Anthony D’Arezzo

The sport of bodybuilding has been losing athletes to heart disease lately at what seems to be a frightening rate. In recent years Don Youngblood, Don Ross, Derrick Whitsett, Charles Durr and Curtis Leffler have all died of heart attacks at surprisingly young ages. In a sport that is supposed to be about health and fitness, this trend is disturbing. Just this past summer a friend of mine, Anthony D’Arezzo, died of a heart attack in his hotel room mere hours before he was to take the stage at the NPC Masters Nationals, his first contest in nine years, which was supposed to be a triumphant comeback. The autopsy revealed that his heart was three times the size of a normal adult male heart. For years I’ve come down on those who tried to scare bodybuilders away from steroids by making such alarming statements as “Steroids will kill you!” I’m not pro-steroids, but I am pro-truth, so my rebuttal to that was always this: “So where are all the bodies?” Now it appears that the bodies are piling up, and I can no longer pretend that steroids are the relatively innocuous training aids I once imagined them to be. All bodybuilders experience some degree of heart enlargement, but steroids appear to magnify the effect. There’s evidence that steroids are pro-atherogenic. That is, they increase triglycerides and LDL, the bad cholesterol, while at the same time reducing levels of HDL, the good cholesterol. Furthermore, being overweight increases the risk of heart disease, and bodybuilders have been neglecting the fact that even when the extra weight they carry is all lean muscle tissue, the heart and other organs are overly stressed. Human beings weren’t meant to be 5’10” and weigh 300 pounds, but thanks to steroids, we now have a few thousand men who have achieved that dubious distinction. Could steroids be used safely under a doctor’s care, in

moderation? I believe they could, but the dosages that toplevel bodybuilders use are extreme—so extreme that no doctor would feel comfortable with a patient’s undertaking such a drastic regimen. Add such other commonly used drugs as GH, insulin, thyroid and asthma medications and diuretics, and I fear the wave of death and serious health problems coming to our sport has only begun. Drug testing isn’t the answer, Instead of smoking all the pushing as bodybuilders, like all high-level muscles on one day and the pulling ones athletes, will always find a way on the other, all were getting heavy days to beat the tests. The only solution is for bodybuilders to wake and light days, an essential element up to the dangers of what they in continuous progress. His shoulders may be doing and ask themselves healed, and the scale needle and exwhether the risks are worth the ercise poundages started climbing up rewards. I have a feeling that if again. any of the deceased could answer —Pavel that question, most of them would Beyond Bodybuilding have been far more cautious and put a higher value on their health and longevity. —Ron Harris

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Neveux \ Model: Lee Haney



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Smart Training As for leg extensions, here goes: The choice of machine is important. The best brands are David, Atlantis, Flex and Avenger because they best match the strength curve. The angle of the seat is important. Research shows that 90 degrees is optimal. Other angles— such as 100 or 110 degrees—decrease quadriceps recruitment. Foot position affects quadriceps recruitment—as measured by magnetic resonance and integrated EMG, a nerve-function metric. The more the toes are turned in, the more the vastus lateralis is recruited, the more the toes are turned out, the more the vastus medialis is recruited. You should do leg extensions using hypertrophy or strengthendurance protocols and do them in a postexhaustion fashion. So place them last in any quadriceps routine. Research has shown that leg extensions are an oddity. Most exercises stimulate enhanced motor unit recruitment if done unilaterally, but not leg extensions. They bring greatest activation when both legs are worked simultaneously, or bilaterally. Leg extensions are not a great exercise for athletes who are pressed for time, but they can be a valuable addition for athletes who need greater hypertrophy, like bodybuilders, or more local strength endurance, like speed skaters. Compared to full squats, though, leg extensions rank very poorly in workout efficiency. Large quadriceps are built significantly faster with full squats than with the fanciest leg extension machine you can find.

Extension Contention Q: You seem to be very much against leg extensions. Why? I think it’s a great exercise and has a place in leg training for bodybuilders.

Neveux \ Model: Tamer Elshahat

A: Anyone who’s attended my seminars knows I’m not a huge fan of leg extensions. The main reason is that I believe in the-most-bang-for-yourbuck exercises. Throughout my career I’ve had, on average, only 11 weeks to work with an athlete—the amount of time that NHL players have to get in shape for the season.

Neveux \ Model: Cara Basso

Q: I’m a drug-free bodybuilder. How can I maximize by recovery between workouts? A: Recovery is the forgotten element in most sports training. Pro teams such as the Chelsea Football Club and the Leicester Tigers Rugby Club in the UK and the Chicago Bears here have finally begun to hire sports nutritionists to develop recovery programs for their players. Attention to your recovery processes will enable you to train intensely more frequently. Here are five important tips for maximizing growth. 1) Four to five times weekly, stretch your

Stretching can enhance the hypertrophy process—but do it after your workout or at a separate session. 42 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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COST OF REDEMPTION Mr. Olympia’s Mind-Numbing Training DVD This 3-plus-hour DVD is a masters class on what it’s like to train without limits. Sit back and be amazed and inspired by a man who walks the walk. Mitsuru Okabe spent 4 days with Ronnie in 2003 just prior to his sixth win in a row of the Mr. Olympia. This DVD is shot in an absolute “you are there” style. There are no set ups, no retakes, nothing but the real Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie is absolutely focused on his goal and he lives his life to make it happen. You will see him do 800-pound squats, 75-pound dumbbell curls and an astounding 2250-pound leg press—almost every 45-pound plate in the gym! It’s the stuff of legends. But more than just the sets, reps and the nutrition, you get an insider’s view of the personality that always lights up any room he enters. It hits all the right notes: instructional, inspirational and a pleasure to watch a man at the top of his game. Four Stars.

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Smart Training muscles thoroughly. Besides the well-known injury prevention and increased flexibility benefits, regular stretching maximizes hypertrophy by elongating the fascia, making room for the muscle to grow. After a very brief cardiovas-

Neveux \ Model: Joe DeAngelis

If you need more than eight hours of sleep a night, it may be a sign that you’re not eating often enough.

muscle gains by: • Inhibiting the enzymes that product energy for your workouts. • Messing up your sleep patterns. The reduced quantity and quality of sleep will minimize your recovery for the following workout. An evening partying on a Friday will foul up your sleep until the following Tuesday. • Decreasing your natural testosterone production. A study done in Finland found that the occasional alcohol binge decreases your natural testosterone production for as many as three days. 5) Pay attention to your sleep patterns, recording quantity and quality in your training diary. If you have problems falling asleep, your training intensity may be too high, and if you feel you can never sleep enough, your volume may be too high. Many self-hypnosis recordings are available. Try them before falling asleep. A number of athletes have reported enhanced sleep quality and diminished sleeping needs after using them. Nutrients such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine and magnesium improve the quality of your sleep. If you follow these guidelines, you can achieve lean bodyweight gains in record time.

cular warmup (two to five minutes, just enough to make you break a sweat) stretch the targeted muscle group with proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, a.k.a. PNF stretching. (For details consult a physiotherapist or a coach certified by me. You can locate a certified coach near you at my Web site.) Finish off with four to six 15-second static stretches. The combination of those two stretching methods is more effective than using one method alone. Static stretching makes permanent the rapid gains made with PNF. 2) Deep massage of the connective tissue is probably the best recovery-boosting method. In my practice as a strength consultant with various national teams, I’ve routinely observed strength gains of 2 to 10 percent 24 hours after such treatments, though why elite athletes experience such a strength gain I don’t really know. Bear in mind that deep massage has quite a few names—such as Rolfing and neuromuscular reeducation massage. Warning: NRM is painful, about as much fun as getting the inside of your nostrils scraped with a mentholyptus-coated potato peeler. The rewards, however, are worth it. If your strength doesn’t increase at the following workout, seek a better therapist. 3) Don’t sleep more than eight hours in a row. If you need more sleep, you’re not eating often enough. If your schedule can afford it, have an afternoon nap ending 90 minutes before your workout. It will give you half an hour to eat your preworkout meal and an hour to digest before starting your session. 4) Abstain from alcohol. Alcohol will slow down your

Q: I haven’t been able to train for a while because of a nasty divorce. I’ve lost a lot of strength and mass. What’s the quickest way to restore muscle? A: People are forced to temporarily stop training because of various uncontrollable factors—death of a close relative, highstress situations such as divorce or tremendous work commitments—and get discouraged once they return to the gym. Both training and nutritional tricks, however, can restore musAlcohol can disrupt sleep patterns cle. First let’s lower testosterone. look at how

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Smart Training Heavy negative, or eccentric, exercise can help you regain strength quickly after a layoff.

Neveux \ Model: Idrise Ward-El

Nutrition is important. Use the four following nutrients: Vinpocetine—10 milligrams twice a day. Vinpocetine, extracted from a kind of periwinkle, is an excellent vasodilator and cerebral metabolic enhancer and even seems to retard vascular-based cognitive dysfunction. I find it very beneficial at restoring muscle memory. I love it as part of any brain stack, as it’s known as the gate opener and helps other brain nutraceuticals to do their job. It will magnify the effects of any stimulant. Dr. Ken Proefrock, a professor at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, considers it a compound far superior to hydergine. Bacopa—100 milligrams twice a day. Bacopa is a botanical used in Ayurvedic medicine with welldemonstrated antianxiety, antifatigue and memorystrengthening effects. L-carnitine—six grams per day. It significantly reduces pain, tenderness and release of creatine kinase, usually called CK, following eccentric effort. That’s because of its vasodilatation property, which both improves energetic metabolism of the damaged muscle and enhances washout of metabolites that create pain. Some people report difficulty sleeping when using L-carnitine after 4 p.m. Make sure you spread out your dosages, and take at least two grams postworkout. I like a product called Panthetine Synergy, which contains both B5 pantethine and L-carnitine. A precursor of the mother hormone pregnenolone, pantethine does wonders to restore the adrenal glands. To buy Pantethine Synergy, contact Judith@ If you combine the nutritional approach and the training strategies, you should return to your best ever training poundages in record time.

Protocol 1: At the end of a conventional concentric four-to-six-rep set at 80 to 82 percent of your one-rep maximum, add 25 to 30 percent more weight to the barbell and perform additional eccentric-only repetitions. Another option: Have a training partner manually apply resistance—for example, push down on the bar—for the eccentric portion. The negative repetitions will exhaust eccentric strength and help get the contractile proteins to return to their previous training size. Do eight total sets per bodypart, and be sure to rest four minutes between sets—or two minutes between antagonistic pairs. Each eccentric lowering should last between four to six seconds. Note: It’s vital to control the descent of the resistance to avoid injury. Protocol 2: Using 120 to 130 percent of your one-repmax load, do two to three reps for 10 sets, resting four to five minutes between sets. Take eight to 10 seconds for each lowering. On that day, do only one exercise per bodypart. That will help you tap into the high-threshold motor units that were responsible for your big poundages.

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most successful strength coaches, having coached Olympic medalists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www .CharlesPoliquin .net. Also, see his ad Charles Poliquin on page 171. IM Bradford

you should arrange your training. Eccentric training will restore past levels of strength faster. Alternating between two protocols for about six weeks is all it should take to get your strength back.

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What’s Your Poison? Pet owners were recently horrified to learn that many commercial pet foods were contaminated. While it’s still not clear precisely what the toxin in the food was, it was found in wheat gluten, a protein. Many unfortunate animals that ate the contaminated food died from kidney failure. You might think that scenario is unlikely to occur in human food, but you’d be dangerously naive. In recent years several food supplements, mainly aimed at the bodybuilding market, have contained ingredients that weren’t listed on the labels. Analyses of several pro-hormone products showed that

Are some foods toxic?

they contained not just pro-hormones but full-fledged hormones, including anabolic-steroid drugs. As the products were synthetic, the drugs had to be added. The good news is that nobody died from tainted supplements, although athletes may have failed drug tests. Other supplements may contain ingredients that can lead to serious health problems. Take, for example, a reported case of arsenic poisoning in a 54-year-old woman who took kelp tablets.1 Kelp is a rich source of trace minerals, especially iodine. Two-thirds of thyroid hormone, which Some bodybuilding supplements have controls basal been found to be tainted; now certain metabolic rate, foods show traces of arsenic. is iodine. The other third is the amino acid tyrosine. In the ’60s and ’70s kelp was a popular supplement among bodybuilders. They had few choices when it came to fat-burning supplements, and the theory was that a daily dose of kelp

would boost thyroid hormone production, thus helping burn excess bodyfat and increase overall muscularity. Some bodybuilders took 30 to 50 kelp tablets every day. What the bodybuilders didn’t realize, however, was that iodine worked in what statisticians call a bell curve. Simply put, while a certain amount of iodine is indeed required for thyroid hormone synthesis, too much of the trace mineral leads to a slowing of thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. That’s been observed in cultures where forms of kelp are a food staple, such as in China and Japan. Fortunately, even though taking in large amounts of iodine shuts the thyroid down, the condition is reversible when people stop getting so much iodine.2 The 54-year-old woman with arsenic poisoning complained of hair loss, memory loss and fatigue. Doctors initially attributed her symptoms to menopause and adjusted her hormone supplements. The woman took various supplements to treat the symptoms, including kelp tablets, fish oil, ginkgo biloba and grapeseed extract, but the only supplement she used consistently was the kelp. She began with two kelp tablets daily, then gradually increased the dose to four a day. In due course she developed additional symptoms, including

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GROW Nutrition With a Get-Big Mission diarrhea, nausea and vomiting and had pressure headaches, feeling as if there was a band around her head. Weakness and fatigue followed, requiring additional sleep. Within a few months she noticed a skin rash on her legs. Her toenails began falling out. Her doctor realized that her symptoms indicated toxicity, and a spot urine test showed an elevated arsenic level. Analysis of her food supplements revealed that the kelp tablets were rich in arsenic. As soon as she quit taking them, her symptoms abated, and eventually the arsenic disappeared from her body. Arsenic is a poison that’s found naturally in the environment and as a result of industrial contamination. Soils rich in arsenic can yield foods with higher content of the toxin. Because of the high concentration of arsenic in algae and microorganisms eaten by fish, seafood averages four to five parts per million compared to the 0.02 PPM found in grains and cereals, which is below toxic levels. The authors of the kelp case study purchased nine samples of kelp supplements from health food stores. Arsenic was detected in eight of them, and the concentration in seven exceeded the Food and Drug Administration’s tolerance level of 2 PPM. As it happens, kelp isn’t that popular among bodybuilders these days; just remember that a dose of the kelp is not something you want. Then again, that may not help if you eat chicken. It seems that an arsenic

compound called Roxarsone is mixed into the diet of about 70 percent of the 9 billion chickens produced annually in the United States.3 The intent is to promote growth, kill parasites that cause diarrhea and improve the pigmentation of the chicken meat. While relatively benign, Roxarsone converts in the chicken’s body to inorganic arsenic. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, longterm exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause bladder, lung, skin, kidney and colon cancers and adversely affects immune function, the nervous system and hormone release. Low-level exposure is linked to paralysis and diabetes. A 2004 report from the United States Department of Agriculture showed that most people eat 1.3 to 5.2 micrograms per day of inorganic arsenic from chicken alone. Those who eat large amounts of chicken (such as bodybuilders) consume 21 to 31 micrograms daily. An analysis of 151 samples of raw chicken obtained from markets in Minnesota and California revealed that 55 percent contained inorganic arsenic ranging from 1.6 to 21.2 PPM. Three-fourths of the samples taken from conventional poultry farms

showed detectable levels of arsenic, but only one-third of samples from certified organic and premium farms had detectable levels. Chickens from Tyson and Foster Farms, which had both stopped adding Roxarsone to chicken feed, had no arsenic. The doctor who released the report commented, “As a physician, I find it ludicrous that we continue feeding arsenic to chickens now that we know it increases our cancer risk and is unnecessary for raising chickens.” The National Chicken Council responded by saying that the report wasn’t “scientific” and that there was no reason to fear the use of arsenic-based feed additives. Chickenspeak translation: “Pluck you!” —Jerry Brainum

References 1 Amster, E., et al. (2007). Case report: Potential arsenic toxicosis secondary to herbal kelp supplement. Environ Health Perspect. 115:606608. 2 Kasagi, K., et al. (2003). Effect of iodine restriction on thyroid function in patients with primary hypothyroidism. Thyroid. 3 Hileman, B. (2007). Arsenic in chicken production. Chem Engin News. 85:34-35. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 49

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Food Facts

Neveux \ Model: Lee Apperson

That can affect your workouts, weight and wellness


Stubborn-Fat Busters Citrus bioflavonoids contain natural properties that may block estrogen. They are abundant in the white, spongy layer of the peel. Soy flavones have mild estrogenic properties. They bind to estrogen receptors in the tissues and block them from estrodiol, the most potent estrogen hormone. Estrodiol is called the bad estrogen because of its occasionally powerful effects on the body, such as bloating, water retention, fat gain, feminization of men (such as “bitch tits”), fat under the skin and stubborn fat gain around the chest and the belly. Experiments in Italy have shown that combining citrus bioflavonoids with soy flavones resulted in a powerful, natural way to block the estrogenic effect on the body. Adding citrus bioflavonoids to soy flavones created a more powerful defense against estrogen than taking soy flavones alone. —Ori Hofmekler Editor’s note: Ori Hofmekler is the author of the books The Warrior Diet and Maximum Muscle & Minimum Fat, published by Dragon Door Publications (www For more information or for a consultation, contact him at, www or by phone at (866) WAR-DIET.

Coca-Cola is high in sugar—one can has about nine teaspoons—as you probably know. But did you know that many of the new flavored bottled waters contain almost as much sugar as a Coke? Check the label of your chosen brand. It may be one reason you’re not getting lean. B-vitamins are important, especially when you are dieting. Vitamin B1, a.k.a. thiamine, helps your body convert carbs, amino acids and fats to energy—rather than storing them as fat. Niacin, or B3, helps in that regard, and B6 promotes tissue rebuilding. B12 also helps rebuild, and it supports the nervous system. If your calories are low, try a B-complex supplement for more muscle, less fat and increased energy. Broccoli is fulll of diseasefighting vitamins and antioxidants, but boiling or steaming it can reduce that content by at least 25 percent. It’s better to microwave it, which preserves more than 90 percent of the broccoli’s nutrients. Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in many cancers. Your body makes vitamin D from sunlight, but you can also get it from some types of fish, along with good omega fats. For example, one 3 1/2ounce serving of salmon contains almost 90 percent of the recommended daily intake of D. —Becky Holman

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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER The Best of Bodybuilding in the 20th Century Here in one definitive, information-packed volume, you have the best that IRON MAN has to offer. The articles and photos reprinted in IRON MAN’s Ultimate Bodybuilding Encyclopedia are of enormous and enduring value to beginners and experts alike. A tour de force of bodybuilding information with stunning photos of unrivaled quality, this massive volume covers every aspect of bodybuilding with authority and depth. Included is complete information on: •Getting started •Bodybuilding physiology •Shoulder training •Chest training •Back training •Arm training •Abdominal training •Leg training •Training for mass •Training for power •Mental aspects of training •Bodybuilding nutrition With IRON MAN’s Ultimate Bodybuilding Encyclopedia, you will learn Arnold Schwarzenegger’s insights on developing shoulder and back muscles, along with many other champions’ routines. This massive volume contains 440 pages and over 350 photographs.

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New Beta-Alanine Research


In the new study one group of cyclists, average age 20, received a supplement containing 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, 5.25 grams of creatine and one gram of taurine, which they took three times daily. The other group received the same supplement minus the beta-alanine. The subjects performed endurance (five hours a day, six days a week)—as well as weight training done three times a week. After 12 weeks both groups showed an increase in the thickness of type 2 muscle fibers. Muscle carnosine remained the same in those who didn’t take the beta-alanine, but it rose by 46 percent in those who did take it, as did their taurine levels. Those in the betaalanine group also experienced significant improvements in various exercise metrics, such as ventilatory threshold, time to exhaustion and total work done, which the other group did not. The improvements were attributed to increased muscle-buffering capacity because of the enhanced carnosine. —Jerry Brainum Neveux \ Model: Skip La Cour

Studies continue to confirm the ergogenic benefits of supplemental beta-alanine for those engaged in exercise and sports. The latest study, presented at the 2007 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, examined the use of beta-alanine in elite cyclists, who also engaged in weight training. Various studies have shown that chronic training alone appears to double muscle carnosine in the body. That makes sense, since carnosine, a dipeptide, or bond, of two amino acids (histidine and beta-alanine), is a major intramuscular buffer required to douse the flames of the heightened muscle acidity you get from intense exercise. Acidity inhibits enzymes involved in energy production, which in turn leads to muscular fatigue. The results of studies examining the relationship of training to increased muscle carnosine have been largely ambiguous. Some have shown no increase, and others have shown a doubling following eight to 16 weeks of training. Still others show a 60 percent increase.


Coffee Grinds Disease According to Joe Vinson, Ph.D., “An eightounce cup of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee contains more diseasefighting antioxidants than a typical serving of fresh blueberries or oranges.” In an article published in the June ’07 issue of Bottom Line/Health, Vinson explains that those who drink about three cups a day appear to have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and age-related mental decline. So no need to feel guilty about that cup of joe you chug before you hit the gym. It gets your engine revved and your immune system functioning. —Becky Holman

Fat-Burning Foods You may have heard the phrase, “A calorie is not a calorie.” When it comes to the macronutrients—protein, fat and carbohydrate—that’s absolutely true. One hundred calories of each induces a different thermic response—meaning the number of calories your body spends to digest it: Carbs: 100 calories = 5-calorie thermic response Fat: 100 calories = 10-calorie thermic response Protein: 100 calories = 18-calorie thermic response That’s another reason low-carb diets tend to work for most people—eating more protein produces more of a thermic response because of the energy required to break it down and assimilate it. —Becky Holman

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If you’re an old fight fan like me, you probably remember the three epic boxing matches between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Ali squeezed out a victory (he won two out of the three fights with Smokin’ Joe) and nailed his reputation as the greatest boxer of all time. When it comes to the battle of proteins in the research literature, it seems that the Ali vs. Frazier equivalent is whey vs. casein. The initial study compared the effects of whey vs. casein during the seven-hour period after a meal. Researchers found that net leucine balance, a measure of possible gains in muscle protein, was more positive with casein than with whey.1 But that was a short-term study. What happens when you take the stuff for weeks changes the story a bit. We know that different proteins affect whole-body protein anabolism and accretion. So scientists looked at whey vs. casein supplementation during a 10-week supervised resistance-training program. In a double-blind protocol, 13 male recreational bodybuilders supplemented their normal diet with whey isolate or casein (1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, which equals 136 grams of protein for a 200-pound individual) for the duration of the program. Strength was assessed by one-rep maximums in three exercises: barbell bench press, squat and cable pulldown. Body composition was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Plasma glutamine was also determined. All assessments were made in the week before and the week after 10 weeks of training. Results: Plasma glutamine did not change in either group. However, the whey-isolate group gained more lean mass than the casein group (5.0 vs. 0.8 kilograms) and experienced a more significant decrease in fat mass than the casein group (-1.5 kilograms vs. +0.2 kilograms). To top it off, the whey-isolate group also got significantly stronger on all measures.2 It’s one thing to compare how proteins “work” over seven


Breathless Burn You know how important it is to breathe correctly during your weight-training workouts—inhale on the negative stroke, exhale on the positive. But how you breathe during cardio is also important—and a sign of what fuel you’re using. If you can carry on a conversation during cardio, you’re more apt to be tapping into bodyfat for fuel. If you’re breathing hard—sucking air—and your pulse rate is very high, you’re past the lactate threshold and tapping into muscle glycogen. Interval cardio, such as sprinting the straightaways and walking the curves on a track, burns both fat and glycogen, with even more fat used postworkout during muscle repair, but it’s very similar to a weight workout for your legs. If you use interval cardio sessions, be sure to cut back on your lower-body resistance workouts. —Becky Holman

Whey vs. casein

Neveux \ Model: Berry Kabov

The Thrilla in Manila

hours. Immensely more important is to see what they do over weeks and months. If you use whey or casein only, whey is clearly a great choice—but you can’t go wrong with casein either. A so-called slow protein, it’s ideally used before bed or in combination with whey. I suggest you take a combination of whey and casein postworkout—say, 80 percent whey, 20 percent casein). One hour before you go to bed, take an opposite mix—80 percent casein, 20 percent whey. —Jose Antonio, Ph.D. Editor’s note: You can listen to Dr. Jose Antonio and Carla Sanchez on their radio show Performance Nutrition, Web and podcast at Dr. Antonio is the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition—www His other Web sites include,, www and www.JoseAntonioPhD .com.

References 1 Boirie, Y., et al. (1997). Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 94:14930-5. 2 Cribb, P.J., et al. (2006). The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 16:494-509.

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Eat to Grow PUMP IT UP

Want Arginine?

Try watermelon

Arginine has always been a popular nutrient among bodybuilders. Along with its metabolite ornithine, it’s long been touted as stimulating growth hormone. More recently, various supplements that feature forms of arginine have been promoted as nitric oxide precursors. NO performs numerous vital functions in the human body. It dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure while increasing blood flow, and the increased blood flow is thought to increase the flow of nutrients and oxygen into muscle. Besides being the direct precursor of NO synthesis, arginine acts as a substrate for the synthesis of proline, the major amino acid found in collagen, which is the primary protein of connective tissue. Arginine is also a primary precursor of creatine. Some studies show that arginine may encourage fat and glucose oxidation because of its link to NO. NO, in turn, increases the signaling effects of a nucleotide called GMP, which is directly involved in fat burning and penile erection (drugs such as Viagra also work by raising cyclic GMP). While arginine offers heady health benefits, there are problems with supplementing it. In solution it’s strongly alkaline, and it has to be compounded with hydrochloric acid to create a supplemental form. Supposedly that prevents acid-base problems when you take a concentrated dose, but taking more than nine grams a day often leads to nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. The side effects may be due to 1) the rapid conversion of arginine to NO in the gut coupled with 2) impaired intestinal absorption of other amino acids, such as lysine and histidine. Looking for more options about now? You could take L-ci-


The Caffeine Scene Considering all the news regarding the health benefits of coffee, decaffeinated coffee and green and black tea, it’s a good idea to get some in your diet. Unfortunately, coffee is too strong for many people, souring stomachs and producing jitters. Decaf is short on taste, and tea is too watery. The solution may be a popular variety by Celestial Seasonings called Morning Thunder. It has 40 milligrams of caffeine in a serving—just enough to get most people going without overdoing it. Some coffees have as much as 100 milligrams of caffeine. Morning Thunder tastes more like a mild coffee than tea, and it contains yerba maté, a South American plant rich in antioxidants. According to the label, it contains more antioxidants than orange juice, broccoli or tomato juice per serving. —Daniel Curtis, R.D.

trulline, another amino acid that is a precursor of arginine. Because arginine is a basic amino acid, it competes with other aminos for uptake into the body. Citrulline is a neutral amino acid, which means that it doesn’t compete with other aminos. Nor does it have to be made with hydrochloric acid, which reduces gut problems. In its conversion to arginine, citrulline also uses up ammonia, which is good since excess ammonia is related to fatigue. So where do you get citrulline? It turns out that watermelon is a superior source.1 There are 0.7 to 3.6 milligrams of citrulline per gram of watermelon. Eating two pounds of watermelon daily would supply enough to provide 40 percent of the average daily arginine intake of 3.6 grams. In the new study, subjects who drank a lot of watermelon juice (0.52 kilograms with each of three meals) had higher plasma arginine levels than a control group. Fasting plasma arginine increased 12 percent after three weeks of lower-dose watermelon intake and 22 percent after high intake. Those in the high-intake group also showed an 18 percent rise in plasma ornithine. None of the subjects who drank watermelon juice showed any interference with the uptake of other amino acids, so amino acid balance wasn’t upset. Those who drank large amounts of the juice—amounting to six cups daily—produced two grams of citrulline. Studies show that 40 percent of dietary arginine is degraded by the intestinal tissues of adult humans during initial entry into the gut. In contrast, citrulline (which converts into arginine in the kidneys) undergoes little breakdown. The liver absorbs 10 to 15 percent of ingested arginine, which is then broken down by the enzyme arginase. Citrulline bypasses the liver and acts as a nutrient precursor of arginine synthesis in the kidneys. From 5 to 15 percent of arginine produced in the body is made that way. Another source is glutamine, which smallintestine cells also convert into citrulline that bypasses the liver and travels directly to the kidneys—where it’s converted into arginine.2 So those who want to get the considerable nutritional benefits of arginine without the side effects should consider adding some watermelon to their diets. It tastes pretty good, too. —Jerry Brainum

References 1

Collins, J.K., et al. (2007). Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults. Nutrition. 23:261-66. 2 Curis, E., et al. (2005). Almost all about citrulline in mammals. Amino Acids. 29:177-205.

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To Kick-Start Immediate Muscle Growth After You Train Breakthrough research in exercise metabolism now reveals this fact: What you consume (or don’t consume) immediately after training plays a critical role in determining your success or failure! That time period is known as the “anabolic window” of growth. The biggest mistake many bodybuilders make is eating a meal of chicken breasts, baked potato or rice and vegetables after a workout. This is an approach doomed to fail because by the time this meal digests, the anabolic window has slammed shut. The best way to produce this potent anabolic effect is simply by drinking an amino acidand-carbohydrate supplement within 15 minutes after training! RecoverX™ offers the ideal combination and provides the perfect blend of nutrients for postworkout anabolic acceleration. RecoverX™ contains 40 grams of the quickest-acting bio-available protein from hydrolyzed whey—extremely fast protein for immediate delivery—whey protein concentrate, glutamine peptides, arginine and 60 grams of carbohydrate to give you the necessary insulin spike.

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Train, Eat,

GROW Muscle-Training Program 95 From the IRON MAN Training & Research Center by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson • Photography by Michael Neveux


e’re deep into our ripping phase, and we’re motivated and making good progress. Power/Rep Range/Shock has held our interest and pushed our gains forward, but now it’s time to do something that’s very difficult at this stage: back off for supercompensation—but in a different way from what we generally prescribe. Before we get into that, here’s a quick review of P/RR/S: Power. Train every exercise with straight sets—no supersets, trisets or drop sets—and keep your reps in the four-to-six zone. We recommend slightly higher reps on endurance-oriented muscles like calves, abs and forearms. Rep Range. For the first exercise you pick a weight that lets you get seven to nine reps. For the second exercise you do 10 to 12 reps. On the third exercise you move the rep range up to the high end of fast-twitch recruitment—13 to 15 reps. Shock. Here you put your mus-

cles through the meat grinder with supersets, drop sets and so on. Reps for most muscles stay in the eight-to-10 range, but extended-set techniques are a must. In previous installments we’ve suggested that this system has built-in supercompensation. For example, Steve doesn’t respond much to the Power phase, as he’s an ectomorphic type who gains better with longer tension times. That means the Power phase would act as a back-off for him. We recently bastardized the phases, however, and included some longer-tension-time sets in the Power phase. In other words, we were no longer doing pure low-rep training. So we decided to create our own phase, calling it supercompensation.

Supercompensation We’ve also referred to the program as adjusted as phase training: four to six weeks of all-out workouts followed by at least a week of subfailure workouts. The less-intense workouts permit the body to

completely recover, preparing it for another bout of all-out sessions. Why not just space out the workouts so you get more recovery time and never need a back-off phase? Because stress is cumulative. If you’re training hard, you will eventually hit a wall, which could send you into an overtraining downward spiral. In our experience, it’s much better to build up and overshoot somewhat, then back off with a lowintensity supercompensation phase. There’s also a discrepancy between recovery factors. Steve’s book Train, Eat, Grow discusses the difference between nervous-system recovery and muscle recovery and how that can affect gains. If you space out the workouts enough so that the nervous system completely recovers, the muscles get too much rest and regress. (There’s a more detailed explanation in the book.) We may seem to have a lot of this stuff figured out—and we have on a lot of levels—but we readily admit that we often stick with our intensity phases much too long, like eight to 12 weeks, without throwing in a back-off phase. As we said, it’s

64 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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© 2005 IRON MAN Magazine

It’s a big blast of workout information, motivation and muscle-building science in your e-mail box every week—and it’s all free! Tons of practical training tips, analysis and size tactics are jam-packed into this e-zine from the IRON MAN Training & Research Center, where there’s more than 50 years of training experience to get you growing fast! Here are a few of the latest editions’ titles (online now):

Train, Eat, GROW Program 95

very, very difficult to back off when gains are flowing nicely. We’re finding it especially difficult this time around, as our gains have come more quickly—streaking vascularity appeared well before summer started. So to remedy the problems caused by our overzealousness, we decided to bastardize the supercompensation phase too.

Lower Volume/Less Stress

We decided to try our undergrip pulling movement on the chinning bar, and what a difference! We can sure feel our lats a lot more.

When you have an intensity mind-set, it can be difficult to just shut it off for a week. It’s easier if you’re really feeling overtrained, but even then you may think that you just need to train through it (that’s usually not true). If you realize you’re on the brink of overtraining, the downshift is a breather you welcome. But with P/RR/S, you’re always switching protocols, so you hardly ever feel burned out. Our solution: Keep things intense but ratchet down the volume—and maintain that for two to three weeks instead of just one. Here are the adjustments we made to the program for our bastardized supercompensation phase: 1) Delete the drop set from the first exercise. We were using the two-set/drop method, explained in our e-book X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, on the midrange exercises; now we’re doing two straight sets. 2) Remove traumatic stretchposition exercises. Stretch movements, like incline curls for biceps and overhead extensions for triceps, tend to damage muscle fibers. We did keep them in the program for legs, however, as we only train lower body once every seven days. 3) Tone down the intensity techniques. We did X Reps for only one set of an exercise and didn’t do any X-hybrid techniques, like Double-X Overload.

Undergrip Chins 66 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

So most bodyparts got a volume reduction of one to three sets. We used only the best hypertrophic rep range—nine to 12 for most exercises. We did, however, keep a

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Train, Eat, GROW Program 95

IRON MAN Training & Research Center Muscle-Training Program 95 Workout 1 (Supercompensation): Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs

Workout 2 (Supercompensation): Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms

Smith-machine incline presses (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 High-low cable flyes (drop; X Reps) 1 x 8-10(6) Wide-grip dips 1 x 9-12 Superset Wide-grip dips (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Pushups (X Reps) 1 x 7-9 Low/middle cable flyes (drop; X Reps) 1 x 8-10(6) Chins (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Undergrip chins (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Superset Machine pullovers (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Rope rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Rope rows (Stage) 1 x 8-10 Decline extensions (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Superset Kickbacks or pushouts (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Bench dips (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Incline kneeups (drop; X Reps) 2 x 12-15, 12(7) Tri-set Ab Bench crunches (X Reps) 1 x 10-12 Twisting crunches (X Reps) 1 x 10-15 End-of-bench kneeups (X Reps) 1 x 9-12

Seated laterals/upright rows (X Reps) 3 x 9-12 Forward-lean laterals raises (drop; X Reps) 1 x 8-10(6) Smith-machine presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Seated dumbbell presses (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Bent-over rows (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Superset Dumbbell shrugs (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 High rows (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Preacher curls 1 x 9-12 Cable curls (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Concentration curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) One-arm spider curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Incline hammer curls (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Rope hammer curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 10-12 Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset (20-second rest) Dumbbell wrist curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10-12 Forearm Bar wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Rockers 1 x 20-30

Legs (Supercompensation): Quads, Calves, Hamstrings Leg extensions (drop; X Reps) 2 x 9-12(7) Squats 2 x 10-12 Superset Leg presses 1 x 7-9 Sissy squats (X Reps) 1 x 7-9 Feet-forward Smith-machine front squats 1 x 9-12 Leg curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 8-10(6) Leg curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Stiff-legged deadlifts 2 x 9-12 Hyperextensions (X Reps) 1 x 9-12 Knee-extension leg press calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 15-20 Superset Standing calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 15-20 Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 10-15 One-leg calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 12-15 Machine donkey calf raises (X Reps) 1 x 10-15 Lower-back machine (X Reps) 1 x 8-10

68 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

Add to Friday Workout: Soleus Seated calf raises (X Reps)

2 x 10-12, 15-20

Note: The leg workout is always performed on Tuesday; that is, legs are worked only once a week—seven full days of recovery. Workouts 1 and 2 alternate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so upper-body muscles get four to five days of recovery. Note: Where X-Reps are designated, usually only one set or phase of a drop set is performed with X Reps or an X-Rep hybrid technique from the e-book Beyond XRep Muscle Building. See the X-Blog at for more workout details.

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Train, Eat, GROW Program 95

Forward-Lean Lateral Raises few drop sets in the mix to ensure a full pump and higher tension times. As we write this, we just finished the first week of our bastardized supercompensation phase, and we’re feeling good and filling out. We’ll continue with it for another couple of weeks and report how it goes next month.

Technique Tweaks We’ve made a few adjustments to certain exercises and flat out switched some because of neuromuscular-efficiency problems. Last month we discussed how we moved to free weights for our midrange exercises, like bent-over barbell rows for midback and incline dumbbell presses for chest. Some of those changes worked well; others didn’t. Smith-machine incline presses. We went back to the Smith machine because both of us were having problems feeling our upper pecs work when we did incline dumbbell presses. Part of the problem is that we both start relying on our front delts instead of our pecs. The instability that comes with trying to push dumbbells up on an incline complicated the problem.

The Smith machine makes us lock in on our upper pecs and maintain the proper arm position. We may eventually try incline presses with a barbell, but for our supercompensation phase the Smith machine is ideal. Pushups. We were using flat-bench barbell presses and wide-grip dips for our middleand-lower-pec midrange exercises. Steve has a lot of problems feeling bench presses in his pecs, even when he sets up properly—shoulders down and back, chest high. Jonathan is better at it, but he has very strong front delts, so it’s easy for him to lose form and pec feel. We remembered that pushups were much better for both of us in the pec-pounding department. We now superset our second set of wide-grip dips with pushups. At the moment we’re doing them on the floor, but we’re getting a pair of Perfect Pushup stands to increase our range of motion somewhat. Undergrip chins. We were doing undergrip pulldowns, but we were staying too upright and using our biceps instead of our lats. We decided to try doing our undergrip pulling movement on the chinning

70 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

We’ve been experimenting with the angle on forwardlean laterals. A lower incline may appear ineffective, but check out the pump and burn you get in your lateraldelt heads before passing judgment. Unilateral calf work can ignite a burst of new lower-leg growth.

One-leg Calf Raises

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Model: Jonathan Lawson


We were supersetting wide-grip dips with bench presses, but we needed a change on the second exercise. The answer was pushups. The Shark stands or Perfect Pushup stands that rotate allow for more range of motion.

ITRC Program 95, Home-Gym Routine Workout 1 (Supercompensation): Chest, Lats, Triceps, Abs Incline presses (X Reps) Incline flyes (drop; X Reps) Bench presses (X Reps) Flat-bench flyes (drop; X Reps) Chins (X Reps) Undergrip rows (X Reps) Decline extensions (X Reps) Superset Kickbacks (X Reps) Dips or bench dips (X Reps) Incline kneeups (drop; X Reps) Superset Weighted full-range crunches or Ab Bench crunches (drop; X Reps) End-of-bench kneeups (X Reps)

2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12(6) 2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12(6) 2 x 9-12 2 x 9-12 2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 1 x 8-10 2 x 10, 8(7)

1 x 8-10(8) 1 x 8-10

Workout 2 (Supercompensation): Delts, Midback, Biceps, Forearms Dumbell upright rows (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Seated laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Bent-over barbell rows (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Dumbbell shrugs (drop; X Reps) 1 x 10-12(6) Barbell curls 2 x 9-12 Concentration curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Incline hammer curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 12(8) Dumbbell wrist curls (double drop; X Reps) 1 x 12(8) Rockers 1 x 20-30

Add to Friday Workout: Soleus Legs (Supercompensation): Quads, Calves, Hamstrings Squats or front squats (nonlock; X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Leg extensions or old-style hack squats (drop; X Reps) 2 x 9-12(6) Squats or front squats (nonlock; X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Lunges 1 x 8-10 Leg curls (drop; X Reps) 1 x 9-12(6) Leg curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Stiff-legged deadlifts (X Reps) 2 x 9-12 Knee-extension donkey calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 15-20 One-leg calf raises (drop; X Reps) 2 x 12(7)

72 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

Seated calf raises (X Reps) 2 x 12, 20 Note: The leg workout is always performed on Tuesday; that is, legs get worked only once a week—seven full days of recovery. Workouts 1 and 2 alternate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so upper-body muscles get four to five days of recovery. Note: Where X-Reps are designated, usually only one set or phase of a drop set is performed with X Reps or an X-Rep hybrid technique from the e-book Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building. Note: For drop sets it’s best to have a selectorized dumbbell set, such as the PowerBlock, if you don’t have a rack of fixed dumbbells of various weights. If you don’t have a leg extension machine, do old-style hacks, nonlock style. Use partner resistance, towel around the ankles, if you don’t have a leg curl machine.

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Train, Eat, GROW Program 95


Forearm rockers: Curl your hands up and in to hit the flexors, lower, and then curl them up and out to hit the extensors. Rock in and out. We’ve started doing these with very high reps—20 to 30. What an incredible burn to finish off our forearms.

bar, and what a difference! We’ll stick with those for a while and see if our lats improve. We can sure feel them a lot more. Squats. We’re still getting results from free-bar squats; however, our adductors were getting sore. Because of that we decided to do our sets with our feet fairly close

together. That should deemphasize our inner thighs and put more stress on the outer sweeps. One-leg calf raises. We decided to work these into our routine after reading some studies on unilateral exercise. For many muscles it can force more fiber activation. Doing only one set has made our calves

74 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

sore right on the inner head where the gastrocs flare. We’re convinced that what Arthur Jones said is true— one-leg calf raises are one of the most perfect exercises for maximum fiber recruitment. Forward-lean lateral raises. We were doing these facing backward on a seated bench that’s used for presses. It has a slight incline— but the incline wasn’t enough, as Jonathan, with his strong upper back, was pulling his elbows to the rear instead of up. He was almost doing a row instead of a lateral raise. We remembered a few years ago doing laterals facedown on the Ab Bench, which has a much lower incline. In fact, when we get into position, it almost feels as if we’re going to do bent-over laterals. But when we start to lift the dumbbells, our torsos raise up slightly and put us into the perfect position to blast the medial-delt heads. The first time we did them, our delts got sore, which is unheard of. We believe the new twist on an old favorite is going to give our delts some new roundness. Smith-machine presses. We were doing these behind our heads and after dumbbell presses, as the second phase of a drop set. Now we’re doing them in front of our

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faces (military-press style) and starting with them. We do these toward the end of out delt routine, so the medial heads are pretty fried. That makes it somewhat hard to balance dumbbells. Now we’re doing one set of Smith-machine presses and one set of dumbbell presses, and we keep the dumbbell weight manageable, driving them up and out in W-press style. They provide more continuous tension and really sear all delt heads. High rows. If you want to feel your upper traps and even delts contract in a unique way, try high rows. Hook a double-rope attachment to a high pulley machine— same idea as the pulldown station. Grab an end of the rope with each hand and stand erect, but lean back slightly, away from the machine—we like to wedge our knees against the seat on the pulldown. Now row, pulling your hands back to the sides of your head, above your

ears, elbows high. You’ll feel your upper traps contract hard, with help from your delts. It’s a great finisher on delt-and-back day. Rockers. We’ve explained this very efficient forearm move, which trains both the flexors (undersides) and extensors (tops), several times. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length next to your outer thighs. Curl your hands up and in to hit the flexors, lower, and then curl them up and out to hit the extensors. Rock in and out. We’ve started doing these with very high reps—20 to 30. Wow! What an incredible burn to finish off our forearms. Experiment with some of the above. That’s what this musclebuilding thing is all about—trying new exercises and/or unique tweaks to discover what gives you the best gains. Till next month, keep training hard. Note: Our latest Supercompensa-

tion workouts are listed on page 68. For all of our workouts in printable form, see Chapter 7—X-Rep Reload in our latest e-book, X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, available at It also contains analysis and printable templates for the Volume/Intensity Fusion Program, the 3D Power Pyramid Program, the 20-Rep Squat routine, Time-Bomb Training and many others—10 print-and-grow workouts, most of which have been tested and perfected in the IRON MAN Training & Research Center over the past decade. Editor’s note: For the latest on X Reps, including X Q&As, X Files (past e-zines), before and after photos and the X-Blog training and supplement journals, visit www To order the Positions-of-Flexion training manual Train, Eat, Grow, call (800) 447-0008, visit, or see the ad below. IM

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Steve Holman’s

Critical Mass

Q: Your Positions-of-Flexion method is great and has helped me add lots of mass. My question is about arms. Mine look good from the side, with a nice triceps sweep, but from straight on they look skinny. Is it a genetic thing, or can I train to make them look bigger from the front?

Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

A: What you need is to enhance the illusion of arm width. How do you create that? A few ways. First, you need to add some mass to your lateral-triceps head. That’s the only one that’s visible from the front, and it comes into play near lockout on many triceps exercises. For example, on cable pushouts, which you do facing away from a high cable, your torso parallel to the floor, you should go to lockout or very close to hit the lateral heads. I also suggest you do an X Fade on at least one set. That is, when you reach exhaustion, do X Reps at the top position first, where the lateral-triceps head is most engaged, then do X Reps near the bottom of the stroke to end the set. If you can’t manage the second round of X Reps, near the bottom, just do a Static X instead, squeezing the triceps hard down low.

Want your arms to look bigger from the front? Focus on the lateral-triceps heads and the inner-biceps heads to create an enhanced illusion of size and width.

Overhead extensions hit the lateral heads as well, but there isn’t any resistance at the top, so they’re not quite as effective for lateral-head action as cable pushouts. Let’s say you’re doing an abbreviated program, like the two-sets-per-bodypart TimeBomb Training routine in our e-book X-traordinary MuscleBuilding Workouts, which has you do only one triceps exercise. You could substitute cable pushouts for the suggested triceps exercise, decline 82 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Neveux \ Model: Will Harris

Wide Bi’s and Tri’s

extensions, and/or you can make a point to hit your lateraltriceps heads on pressing movements by doing your first set to full lockout—including bench presses and dumbbell presses. Locking out on pressing movements brings in the lateral-triceps head to a great degree, especially on overhead pressing. How about biceps? They’re more visible from the front, but the inner head, closest to your torso, provides the most illusion of width. To beef up that head, do a wide-grip curling movement. I’ve written in the past that a closer grip—inside shoulder width—affects both biceps heads, according to MRI studies, but you may want to specialize on the inner head for a few sets by using an exercise like wide-grip preacher curls as your first movement. Take a grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder width, with your elbows inside your grip width. So if you’re using a 3D POF biceps routine, you’d do wide-grip preachers (midrange), concentration curls (contracted) and incline curls (stretch). Note that the preachers focus on the inner-biceps head, the concentration curls on the outer head. The incline curls hit both, as you’re curling with your hands in line with your upper arms. Here’s a good rule to remember: in for out and out for in. In other words, hands in to work the outer head and hands out to work the inner heads. That’s why concentration curls are best for the outer head, which is what creates biceps peak—the movement mimics a close, or in, grip. A widegrip preacher, on the other hand, is an out movement, so it hits the inner heads more. Incidentally, that may be the reason Larry Scott was renowned for his full softball-size biceps—major inner-head development from wide-grip preachers. To create more

Chest-supported dumbbell rows Dumbbell shrugs Wide-grip chins Undergrip pulldowns

2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12 2 x 9-12 1 x 9-12

Those are quick bodypart hits, but you still train the three Positions of Flexion for the midback and lats. To make the chest-supported dumbbell rows and chins even more effective, try the two-set/drop method. Do the first set for about 10 reps, adding end-of-set X-Rep partials. Rest for two to three minutes, and then do your second set, but at exhaustion quickly reduce the weight and continue repping out (drop set), adding X-Rep partials at the end of the reduced-poundage set. We include the two-set/drop method in a few of the complete programs in our new e-book, X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, because it’s so effective—and efficient—for triggering max force, semistretch-point overload and extended-tension time in two (okay, really three) sets.

You may also want to try the SplitPositions approach, doing a big, midrange exercise and a stretchposition exercise at one workout and the same midrange exercise with a contracted-position movement at the next workout for that bodypart. An example of Split-Positions biceps training would be barbell curls and incline curls (stretch) at the first workout and barbell curls and concentration curls (contracted) at the next. That not only shortens your workouts but also varies the stress on the muscle each time you train it. You can easily construct that type of workout from the 3D POF bodypart routines in 3D Muscle Building or my Train, Eat, Grow book.

Neveux \ Model: Jonathan Lawson

Q: Your 3D mass-building concept [Positions of Flexion as described in the e-book 3D Muscle Building] is exciting and makes total sense. It’s really motivated me. My problem is that I seem to overtrain easily, so I can’t use full 3D POF routines for every bodypart [usually three exercises for the target muscle]. I feel too drained. Should I just stick to one big, basic exercise for each bodypart, like one of the programs in the e-book The Ultimate Mass Workout? A: Don’t give up on 3D POF just yet. There are a lot of ways to get the full mass-building effects of 3D POF using a more abbreviated approach. Once you learn the concepts involved and how the muscles function, you’ll be able to construct faster, more efficient 3D bodypart routines—often two or even one exercise per muscle is all you need (there are lots of samples in that e-book). For example, in the back-training section, Chapter 6, in 3D Muscle Building, notice that chest-supported dumbbell rows provide muscle synergy, or teamwork, muscle elongation (stretch in the midback muscles at the bottom, when the dumbbells come together) and complete contraction (at the top when you move the dumbbells out wide and your shoulder blades retract). In other words, a properly performed set of chest-supported dumbbell rows covers all three Positions of Flexion—midrange, stretch and contracted. What a great exercise! Follow that with one or two sets of dumbbell shrugs for the upper section of your midback—the traps—and you have an incredibly efficient 3D midback attack. How about lats? You get to the midrange position for your lats when you pull your arms into your sides from overhead—a lateral-pulling action. Chins or pulldowns done with a slightly wider-than-shoulder-width grip hit that position. After two sets of chins, do one or two sets of undergrip pulldowns, hands just inside shoulder width. The “curl” grip lets you hit the lats’ contracted position (at the bottom, when you’re driving your upper arms back) and also achieve a pretty good stretch (at the top). So here’s the complete shorter 3D POF back routine:

Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers, including Train, Eat, Grow: The Positions-of-Flexion Muscle-Training Manual (see page 75). For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections beginning on page 228 and 278, respectively. Also visit IM


peak, concentration curls—an Arnold favorite—would’ve enhanced that. Arnold’s biceps were peaked beyond belief!

Chestsupported dumbbell rows provide midback midrange-, stretch- and contractedposition action. Add dumbbell shrugs for the upper traps, and you have a very efficient, effective midback attack.

Steve Holman \ SEPTEMBER 2007 83

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge

Leg-Training Barrage

Neveux \ Model: Jose Raymond

ers using flat shoes and still others squatting with plates under their feet. What’s the best footwear, or does it make a difference? How do you achieve squatting to parallel or below? I struggle in that area. How much do I lose or gain with three-quarter squats? On leg extensions, is it really helpful to turn toes in and out to emphasize different areas of the quads? How about moving the seat forward or backward on leg extensions? Does that work different areas of the quads? Also, is there any advantage to Q: I noticed in your “Real Muscle” DVD that you training calves barefoot? How about turning toes in wear boots on leg day. What’s the proper footwear or out—does that emphasize different areas of the for squats and/or leg presses? I’ve seen photos of calves? How about hamstrings—are there exercises Arnold squatting in his bare feet. I’ve noticed oththat cover upper or lower hamstrings, assuming they can be separated? A: Those are great questions. I know a Angling your feet in or lot about training legs because that was the out does make a differmost difficult bodypart for me to develop ence in the way your when I began bodybuilding. We usually quads develop. become experts on training a bodypart that doesn’t respond quickly because we have to discover every little secret possible to get that muscle group to grow. I wear work boots when I train legs because I find that they give me a lot more support, and I seem to feel stronger when I’m doing leg presses, squats and hack squats. A good friend and a very impressive bodybuilder in her own right, Mona Roberts, recommended wearing work boots, and it made a big difference the first time I did it. I would strongly suggest you give it a try. I honestly don’t know how Arnold did heavy squats and leg presses in his bare feet. I would think that would be extremely difficult and uncomfortable, but it sure did work for the Austrian Oak. For those of us who aren’t in Arnold’s legendary category, I recommend heavy footwear for leg training. Some lifters wear flat shoes, but that’s usually for heavy deadlifts rather than squats. Placing small plates under the heels is a trick used by bodybuilders who lack ankle flexibility and have difficulty squatting below parallel without bending over and using too much lower back. By placing a 2 1/2- or five-pound plate under each heel, they get better balance. Raising the heels also places more stress on the vastus medialis, the teardrop-shaped muscle located on the lower-inner thigh by the kneecap, so it helps develop the lower thighs. As for squatting below parallel, many individuals with long legs have problems doing that without bending over and using their lower back more than their legs. One trick that I often(continued used was to wider ontake pagea102) stance with my feet slightly pointed out. When I squatted, my knees would go in the same direction as my feet, and it was easier for my hips to drop in between my legs while I kept my upper body straight.

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If you keep your feet closer together, with your knees going forward more than slightly out to the side, it’s more difficult to keep your upper body straight. Those who are taller than average or who have long legs will be better suited to a wider foot stance in order to keep the upper body as upright as possible when squatting deep. If you squat only to parallel, you’ll mostly develop your quadriceps. The deeper you go, the more you hit the glutes and hamstrings. From parallel to rock bottom is mostly glutes and hamstrings. I always try to squat slightly below parallel to three-quarters of the way down to hit the hams and glutes as well as quads. With leg extensions you can hit the outer or inner part of the lower thighs by pointing your feet in or out; however, you have to be careful not to use weights that are too heavy because that tends to put more stress on the knees. I keep my feet pointed straight when I do leg extensions, but if you notice that your inner or outer lower quads are lackTry training your ing in development, you can hamstrings first point your toes in to hit the at every other leg outer quads, out to hit the workout. inner quads. I try to set the seat slightly back on the leg extension machine so that when I’m in the bottom position, I can feel a stretch in my upper quads. If I have the seat closer, I feel the exercise more in my lower quads at the top of the movement. Now for calves: Some people prefer to train barefoot because they can feel the exercise more in their calves. I use standard gym shoes because it’s more comfortable for me. I think you can get a great calf workout either way. Pointing your toes in or out does affect different areas of the calf muscle. If you point your toes in, you’ll build the outer portions of the calves more because the pressure will go to the outsides of your feet. The opposite is also true. If you point your toes out, the pressure will go to the balls of your feet, which will build the inner calves. As for hamstrings, I don’t try to separate exercises for the upper and lower sections. I do separate hamstring exercises into leg curls and stiff-legged deadlifts. I do at least one curl exercise and one stiff-legged deadlift exercise at each leg workout. I typically have two leg routines that I alternate from week to week. For the first, I start with quadriceps and finish off with hamstrings. I do machine leg curls for four sets of 12, 10, eight, eight reps and barbell stiff-legged deadlifts for three sets. At my next leg workout I do hamstrings first. I start with dumbbell leg curls on a decline bench to keep constant

tension on my hams for three sets of eight to 10 reps. Then I do seated leg curls for three sets of six to 10 reps and finish with two to three sets of dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts for eight to 10 reps. Q: I’m 36 years old and have been working out with the goal of bodysculpting for the past 14 weeks with very good results. I’ve always been a stocky guy in decent shape—until I hit my 30s. I’m 5’9”, 195 pounds right now. I still need to lose a few more pounds, as my bodyfat is around 20 percent. I do 30 minutes of cardio after my weight workout, alternating treadmill walking and sprinting on an incline. I take a number of supplements and wondered if you would give me your opinion on what I’m taking and my diet: 1) 8 a.m. (on empty stomach an hour before training): 1500 milligrams Larginine, 200 milligrams pycnogenol, 1,000 milligrams green tea extract 2) 8:30 a.m. (30 minutes before training): NO Xplode 3) 10:30 a.m. (postworkout): IDS whey protein (2 scoops in water—about 46 grams protein), five grams creatine monohydrate, 1,000 milligrams ALA 4) 11 a.m.: 3 poached eggs, 1 cup oatmeal, 1,000 milligrams green tea extract, 500 milligrams CLA 5) 2 p.m.: 6 ounces chicken, 6 ounces baked red potatoes; optional: I might have a snack, like a Met-Rx Protein Plus Bar (32 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 3 grams sugar), but not every day 6) 5 p.m.: 6 ounces chicken, fish or lean steak; broccoli or asparagus; brown rice; 1,000 milligrams green tea extract; 500 milligrams CLA 7) 8 p.m.: IDS whey protein (2 scoops in skim milk) 8) 1,500 milligrams L-arginine, 200 milligrams pycnogenol I may not be eating enough. Should I eat a preworkout breakfast or just add a protein drink with skim milk before I take the NO Xplode? Are there any other supplements I should be taking? I’ve read \ SEPTEMBER 2007 87

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Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen’s

Naturally Huge that a testosterone booster may be beneficial also. A: You’ve put a lot of thought into your diet, but I think I can improve it. I’d never go to the gym on an empty stomach. You absolutely need the calories, carbs and protein in your system before you train. If you don’t, you won’t have the energy for an effective workout. If you’re training at 9 a.m., I recommend that you eat a good breakfast at 7:30, about 90 minutes before your workout—one to two whole eggs with six egg whites for your protein source. Because you haven’t eaten during the night, your muscles need to be fed the amino acids from the

trying to lose bodyfat, I suggest cutting out the complex carbs at dinner. If you’re lean and trying to put on more size, you could include a serving of brown rice, wholewheat pasta or a potato. At 8 p.m. you could eat another meal. Depending on your goals, you should have a complete-protein food, such as egg whites or chicken, along with a complex carb, such as oatmeal, oat bran or pasta. Again, if you’re looking to lose bodyfat, skip the carbs and just take in the protein along with some fats, such as a teaspoon of peanut butter. For your final meal of the day have another protein drink along with another tablespoon of flaxseed oil. You could have this protein drink about 2 1/2 to three hours after your last meal or right before you go to bed. Here’s a summary of the nutrition program I just outlined: 7:30 a.m.: 1-2 whole eggs, 6 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal 8:30 a.m. (preworkout drink): 1 serving whey protein or 1 serving of nitric oxide, 1 serving creatine

It’s critical to have a postworkout drink that consists of fast protein and fast carbs. protein as soon as you get up. You also need carbohydrates to fuel your high-intensity aerobics session. One of the best sources of complex carbs is oatmeal. One cup of oatmeal contains 300 calories and 54 grams of complex carbs. About 30 minutes before you train, have your preworkout drink—one scoop of whey protein powder along with one serving of creatine. Or you could have your nitric oxide precursor along with some creatine. For your postworkout drink, the whey protein gets the amino acids quickly into the muscle cells; however, I also think you need some carbohydrates along with it. I recommend Muscle-Link’s RecoverX, a powder you mix in water that contains 40 grams of whey protein and 60 grams of quickly digesting carbohydrates. That’s the perfect postworkout blend. You can also include another serving of creatine. When you get home from the gym, have the chicken and potatoes along with a fibrous vegetable, such as broccoli or asparagus. That meal contains a complete protein source (chicken), a complex carbohydrate (red potatoes) and more fiber (vegetable). That’s your 11 a.m. meal. At 2 p.m. instead of the protein bar, have a protein drink made from a combination of egg, whey and casein proteins. You could include a tablespoon of flaxseed oil in the drink. That will give you the protein you need along with essential fatty acids from the flaxseed oil. At 5 p.m. have your dinner. The chicken, fish or steak are all good choices for your protein along with a high-fiber vegetable like broccoli, green beans or asparagus. If you’re

10:30 a.m. (postworkout drink): 40 grams whey protein, 60 grams quickly digesting carbohydrates, 1 serving creatine 11 a.m.: chicken, red potatoes, broccoli 2 p.m. (protein drink): 2 scoops protein powder, 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil 5 p.m.: fish, chicken or steak; green beans, asparagus or broccoli; 1 serving rice, pasta or potatoes (if you’re trying to gain size) 8 p.m.: 6-7 egg whites or chicken, turkey or tuna fish; 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or a complex carb like oatmeal or oat bran (if you are trying to gain weight) 10:30 p.m.: protein drink—2 scoops protein powder, 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil Editor’s note: John Hansen has won the Natural Mr. Olympia and is a two-time Natural Mr. Universe winner. Visit his Web site at You can write to him at P.O. Box 3003, Darien, IL 60561, or call toll-free (800) 900-UNIV (8648). Look for his new DVD, “The Natural Bodybuilding Seminar,” along with his book, “Natural Bodybuilding,” and histraining DVD, “Real Muscle,” at www. Natural Also available from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or www .Home-Gym. com. IM Neveux

Neveux \ Model: John Hansen

9 a.m.: workout

John Hansen

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ArnoldThink Inside the Mind of the Greatest Bodybuilder of All Time—and the Current Governor of California by Bill Dobbins Photography by John Balik


hroughout his spectacular career—in bodybuilding, movies and now as governor of California—Arnold Schwarzenegger has succeeded in part because of his ability to accurately assess situations and then outsmart and out-think his opponents. Sometimes it seemed as if he were a grown-up in a world of children, a Great Dane in a pack of poodles. How was he able to do that? How exactly does Arnold’s mind work? I’ve known him since 1975, and we worked on three book projects together. So I’ve had ample time to observe how he deals with the world. Arnold’s approach to life is valuable not only when it comes to achieving a variety of life goals but also because it’s the basis of the work ethic that brought him maximum results in bodybuilding.

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ArnoldThink Arnold is an outer-directed individual. A key factor in understanding Arnold is that he isn’t somebody who lives primarily inside his head. He isn’t particularly introspective or consciously analytical. That doesn’t mean he isn’t intelligent; far from it. His mind is working all the time, but he’s not interested in examining his own thought processes in detail. Rather, Arnold focuses on the outside world, on what’s going on around him—who people are, what they’re thinking and feeling and how that’s going to influence what happens in any given situation. Arnold has a strong sense of reality. There are different ways of perceiving reality. An introspective, inner-directed individual might well be most concerned with reality on the philosophical level or with questions of what might be, should be or could be. Arnold’s approach is much more practical. He wants to know what makes things happen, what will make a difference to the outcome of a situation or what won’t, what’s important and what isn’t. Arnold doesn’t waste time on unessentials. He only cares about what works. That has made

Arnold focuses on the outside world, on what’s going on around him—who people are, what they’re thinking and feeling.

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him a success in bodybuilding and in the movies and has earned him a reputation as an astute and honest businessman. In business, Arnold negotiates hard but always sticks by his agreements. Otherwise, he has observed, you just make trouble for yourself—and Arnold is too clever for that. Arnold can be both self-critical and selfconfident. Watching him preparing for a bodybuilding competition, I was always struck by how honest he could be about his own physique. He’d look in the mirror and see exactly what his weak points were. Yet he could do that without any lessening of his overall selfconfidence. Whether by instinct or experience, Arnold came to understand that self-confidence based on ignorance of your weaknesses is no path to success. Instead, the successful man of action is ideally somebody who is not overly self-conscious or introspective (as Arnold isn’t), who has a healthy if not tenacious grasp of what counts and what doesn’t count (as Arnold does), who accepts that nobody’s perfect and that you have to do the best with whatever you have, who can assess his strengths and weaknesses

as clearly as possible and then take whatever steps are necessary to make the best use of those qualities. Arnold is goal-oriented. Life, to Arnold, is a series of goals. In Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, he compares having a specific goal in mind to being the captain of

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a ship. A ship’s master would never leave port, he points out, with no destination in mind, intending to simply sail aimlessly around in the ocean. He’d have a definite destination and charts to show him how to get there. Arnold believes that life should involve the same kind of planning. He admits that all the while he was winning bodybuilding contests he was intending at some point to become a movie star. And there’s no doubt that when he was a movie star, he was thinking about running for governor. Arnold has the ability to focus. When Arnold was winning one Mr. Olympia title after another, he was also making a lot of money in real estate and engaged in a variety of other activities.

California First Lady Maria Shriver created a wall of photos dedicated to honoring her predecessors.

Arnold’s office, where he is surrounded by personal memorabilia and art he cares about.

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ArnoldThink How did he do that without harming his competitive career? By using his ability to compartmentalize his life and concentrate on each aspect of it in turn. When Arnold trained, he trained. His mind and his attention were on his workouts. Once he left the gym, he left the training behind and turned his attention to business, real estate, collecting art, social activities or whatever else he was involved with. Too many bodybuilders aren’t able to do that. They don’t concentrate. They think about what’s happening in the rest of their lives when they’re in the middle of a workout and let their minds dwell on bodybuilding when they’re supposed to be doing something else. Arnold is methodical and well-organized. Whenever I visited Arnold’s house, I noticed how neat everything was. A place for everything and everything in its place. It always looked as if the maid had just left. I realized that the ability to keep his life well-organized played a part in Arnold’s success in bodybuilding. For example, he told me that he used to sit down at the beginning of each month and write out a training program for the next 30 days. At the end of the month he’d evaluate how well the program had worked for him, make whatever adjustments he felt would be beneficial and incorporate them into the next month’s program. He kept careful track of each workout, as well. In fact, in his early years in the sport, Arnold used to keep track of every set he did in the gym. Of course, when I first watched him training back in 1975, there was no evidence of that kind of careful planning. His workouts seemed unplanned and spontaneous—but that was deceptive. He was able to train that way only because of the experience he’d gained after years and years of developing a master plan that reflected the kind of training that worked best for his physique. Arnold is not a creature of appetite. I’ve eaten many meals with Arnold over the years, but I can rarely remember a time when he ate more than I did. Arnold is not indifferent to food, but he’s not ruled by his appetite. He drinks, but he 100 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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isn’t a drinker. He loves to ski, but during his competitive bodybuilding career, when the simplest skiing accident could have cost him the Mr. Olympia title, Arnold kept off the slopes. The same is true of motorcycles. He enjoys riding his Harley nowadays (“The reason I like

Harley-Davidsons is because they are so American!”), but while he was a competitive bodybuilder, he stayed away from them. The pleasure of riding wasn’t worth the risk of an injury that could have slowed down or even ended his bodybuilding career. Arnold is not ruled by his possessions. Arnold has always been good at making money. He likes to live well, to have the wherewithal to live as he likes, buy what he wants and travel as he pleases. Yet, at the same time, making money and

acquiring possessions are not that important to him. They are a byproduct of success, not the standard by which success itself is measured. Arnold has nice clothes, but he doesn’t dress extravagantly. He likes exciting cars and buys some interesting and expensive ones from time to time. Most of the time he drives a fashionable Hummer, often an ecofriendly hydrogen-powered model. He owns an expensive airplane but charters it out when he’s not using it to pay for its upkeep. The last thing Arnold would be likely to do is to try

One of Arnold’s key philosophies: Don’t let momentto-moment difficulties keep you from having a fundamental enthusiasm for living. to impress you with what he wears or what he drives. Arnold knows how to enjoy life. Arnold’s self-confidence and ability to thrive on success came about in large part because he knows and seems always to have known how to enjoy life. He’s proof that you can be serious without acting serious all the time. Sometimes, life isn’t a lot of fun. Sometimes it brings hard work or heartbreak, problems and challenges. Even so, you shouldn’t let the moment-to-moment difficulties keep you from having a fundamental enthusiasm for living and a sense of your own existence. That’s where the deepest enjoyment of living comes, and if you’re in touch with those kinds of feelings, as Arnold could tell you, you usually end up having a lot of fun as well. IM \ SEPTEMBER 2007 101

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Photo: Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin

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Mountainous Muscle Growth With Overload Drop Sets

by William Litz Photography by Michael Neveux


love drop sets. I’ve used them more than any other intensity technique, except maybe rest/pause. Lately, though, I’ve been doing a different form of drops. For the uninitiated, here’s how you do a drop set: Take a weight with which you can get six to eight reps; then once you reach failure, grab a lighter weight and get four to six more reps. You can do double or triple drops with that method. I don’t suggest doing more than three, as it seems to be counterproductive. It’s better to do two rounds of triple drops than one huge six-set drop. That’s the basic technique. For a number of clients, however, I’ve found it very effective to have them do the first set with extremely heavy weights and very low reps. I’ve discovered that the best growth response occurs when trainees go superheavy on exercises on which they don’t normally use heavy weights. That gives the muscle a fantastic shock, as it has to work against a force it’s never encountered before—truly a grow-or-die situation. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 105

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Dumbbell Press

Overhead presses come after heavy laterals, so you may want to use a machine instead of trying to balance free weights. Before I go any further, I want to caution you: Please use common sense with this technique, as you can get injured. Warm up first, and don’t try to do lateral raises with your deadlift weight. After a comprehensive warmup, pick a weight that will let you get only two to three reps. Reduce the weight and immediately rep out to failure, which should occur in the eight-to-10 range. The first phase is the heavy-weight shock-value set, while the second phase provides the much needed time under tension that muscles require for growth. You need both—it’s not an either/ or scenario. You can see the difference between a bodybuilder who has trained with heavy singles and one who has only pumped with light weights. Arnold understood that and often flirted with maximum reps to build raw power, but he also used lighter weights to get a pump. One client of mine was a former powerlifter. He had more than enough mass, but he lacked polish. In particular, his delts had no caps on the side heads. He lacked that cannonball, or coconut, shape that

Photo: Neveux \ Model: Dave Goodin



I had him strap onto a chin bar and hang for 60 seconds to stretch out his scapula, lats and delts. Sixtysecond hang chins are harder than they sound.

Hanging Chins

is essential to complete the classic V-taper, a.k.a. X-frame. Overload drop sets got the job done. Here’s how he used them.

Warmup Time He warmed up on flat-bench presses with the empty bar for 20 reps. Then he did front presses with the bar for another 20. Following that he did two sets of band face pulls and band upright rows to warm up his shoulder girdle and in particular his rotator cuffs. Band upright rows performed with a jump-stretch band, pulling

your hands apart at the top of the motion, really target the rotators and are a great rehab movement as well. (For more info on using the bands, see Dick Hartzell’s Web site, www.Jump After that I had him grab 20(continued on page 110) pound

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Shoulder SHOCKER (continued from page 106) dumbbells and do one set of laterals for 15 reps. Without rest he went to 30-pounders and did 10 more. After that he usually felt sufficiently warm, but on some days he’d do another set of laterals or light dumbbell presses. It’s better to take an extra few minutes of warmup to be safe. I always say five minutes of prehab beats five months of rehab any day. Use your head and take your time.

Lateral Raises


Bombing and Blitzing As I said, my powerlifter client was a big boy, and he had the right mind-set for this type of work—as well as the right strength base. He normally uses 50-to-60-pound dumbbells for lateral raises, so I told him to grab the 95-pounders. He


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Shoulder SHOCKER gave me a worried glance that said, “You know you’ll be paying my chiropractic bills, right?” But he grabbed one of the 95s anyway. When someone’s going that heavy, I suggest training one arm at a time. Hold on to an upright of some sort—power rack or Smith machine, for example—to balance and stabilize your body. Now get that sucka up! It may not be pretty, but try your hardest to keep your form about 80 percent strict. Use some body thrust, as Dave Draper would call it, but try your best to throw all that heavyass resistance onto your

Shoulder-Shock Workout One-arm lateral raises (overload drop sets; X Reps on drop) 2 x 2-4(8-10) Lateral raises 1 x 12 Machine presses (X Reps) 2-4 x 6-10 Note: Use this workout once a week. If you train your delts twice a week, use a lighter workout with more exercises at the second session.

side-delt head. And don’t keep your arm locked straight; allow a natural bend at the elbow, but don’t turn the movement into a dumbbell upright row either. Get two reps minimum and three to four reps maximum. If you can get more than four, add some weight at your next workout. After your low-rep set, put down that dumbbell, shake off the burn and grab a lighter weight. This trainee grabbed a 45-pounder. After nine full reps he continued with four bottom-position X-Rep partials in the semistretch position to increase the time under tension. After a brief rest he hit the other delt. Then he got some water and came back for his last overload drop set. This time he started with an 85-pounder—10

Smith-Machine Press

Model: Steve Kummer


Finish pounds less than the first round— and his drop weight moved down to 40. He got three solid overload reps and then 10 reps with the 40-pound dumbbell. After completing the second round with his other arm, he did a set of regular lateral raises for 12 reps. To finish off his delts, he did machine overhead presses. I like to use the machine at this point because the delts are toast—there’s no reason to risk injury trying to balance a barbell. Two to four sets of 112 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Shoulder SHOCKER

One-Arm Lateral Raises

Go heavy on one-arm laterals, two to four reps, then reduce the weight and immediately do eight to 10 more. six to 10 reps plus bottom-position X-Rep pulses finish the job nicely. (Note: In my standard bodypart schedule trainees work rear delts after back.)

Stretch It Out After the weight work I had the powerlifter strap onto a chin bar and hang for 60 seconds to stretch out his scapula, lats and delts for added width. Sixty-second hang chins are harder than they sound. If 60 seconds is easy for you, add weight. This powerlifter pushes the scales to 310 pounds, so I was shocked to see him hang for 10 seconds. But he’s a hardcore trainee and wouldn’t be beaten by his own bodyweight. He stayed up there for the whole minute at his second

Hold on to an upright of some sort—power rack or Smith machine, for example—to balance and stabilize your body. Now get that sucka up!

Model: Michael Ergas



workout. After four weeks on the above shoulder routine my powerlifter buddy’s delts, which for years had no shape at all, began to round out. Combine these moves with a lot of wide-grip chins and lat stretches, and your narrow shoulders will soon be a thing of the past.

Want Some More? The routine described above is short but hard. You can do it twice a week, but I find once a week is usually plenty. If I do two overload sessions, my delts and joints start to ache, so if I train delts again during the week, I usually lighten the weight and do more reps, say 10 to 12. I also do a greater variety of movements—laterals, one-arm

cable laterals, overhead dumbbell presses, dumbbell upright rows and shrugs. This type of training is brutal, and the heavy workload can be hard on joints if you do it for too long. If you use it once a week for two to four weeks, however, this blast can really give you an uptick in muscle size and density. So use your head: Don’t go overboard on overloads. Use it wisely, and your delts will grow awesome. Editor’s note: Will Litz is the founder of T3 Training. He also runs Adrenaline Supplements with Darren Mehling, a personal trainer and superheavyweight bodybuilding champion. For more info visit www and www For more on X Reps, visit IM

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Isaac Hinds \ \ Model: Kai Greene

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A Chain Is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link by Ron Harris

Episode 26

s I write this, I’m four weeks out from the NPC Massachusetts State/New Hampshire State/ Northeast Tournament of Champions, which takes place in Manchester, New Hampshire. You geography whizzes may have caught something odd there—you have to go to New Hampshire to win the Massachusetts state title. It’s almost as bad as going to Canada to win the Mr. America, but at least you don’t have to go through Customs and Immigration. This is the third time since Randy’s been training with me that he’s watched me diet down into contest condition. Actually, that may not be accurate. Last year I did the show in New

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Hampshire without dieting too long or doing my usual amount of cardio, as an experiment to see if I could stay bigger and fuller. The answer was yes, but I also stayed fatter. Still, I realized a couple of weeks ago that I couldn’t keep Randy from competing any longer. Understand that I have not been holding Randy back the way Cinderella’s wicked stepmother tried to keep her from going to the big royal ball. Nor am I punishing the young guy or attempting to keep him hidden from the world lest he reveal a physique much greater than my own. (There are plenty of those out there, so hiding just one wouldn’t do me much good.) Believe it or not, I’m looking out for Randy. As I mentioned in a previous article in this series, when it comes to the right time for a bodybuilder to start competing, I embrace the wisdom expressed by the late Orson Welles in his TV commercials for Paul Masson wine: “We will sell no wine before its time.” Randy simply was not ready to step onstage

and compare favorably with other regional-level bodybuilders in the NPC. Perhaps if we lived in a state like Florida or California, where there are a lot more contests, he might have taken home a trophy in a novice class. But the New England area doesn’t have many contests, and rarely do they feature novice divisions. That means all the good bodybuilders come out to battle only a couple times a year. If you don’t belong in a show like that, you know it right away, and it’s a humbling experience to say the least—kind of like being the poor guy at the ritzy country club. I didn’t want Randy to get his ass handed to him and be turned off of competing forever. As I worked through my contest prep, however, it became obvious: It would no longer be possible to contain Randy’s desire to compete. If he didn’t do a show within the next year, he was gonna burst—literally—and I ain’t cleaning up that mess. The contest he picked was the

NPC New England, about seven months away. That might sound like plenty of time, but if it does, you aren’t a bodybuilder. Seven months gives us just enough time to improve his muscle size and proportions as best we can before he starts dieting down at three months out. Actually, bodybuilders never talk about shows in terms of months; they talk in terms of weeks. Diets typically range from as short as eight weeks to as long as 20, depending on how much fat the individual needs to lose. It’s a good thing we don’t apply that concept to everything, or else I’d be 1,820 weeks old on my next birthday. The first step was to take a good look at Randy and decide what needed work. That happened after our last workout, which was shoulders and hamstrings. Randy is about 5’9 1/2” and 200 pounds now, with abs. I estimate he will only have to come down to between 180 and 185 to be in proper contest condition. If this were the ’70s, long before anyone worried about stri-

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The top pros, like Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler, constantly hone their physiques to bring up weak areas. (What weak areas?)

Isaac Hinds \ \ Model: Darrem Charles

Less-massive competitors must depend on shape, proportion and definition to put them in the winner’s circle.


No matter how well you know your body, hitting peak condition will usually be a hit-or-miss proposition.

ated glutes and Christmas-tree backs, he could come in closer to 190. But thanks to progressive standards, any man carrying more than 5 percent bodyfat onstage is considered a fat bastard now. Even when they’re covered up in sweats backstage, you know who’s in shape by the sunken eyes and gaunt, angular cheekbones and jaw lines. If it weren’t for the big muscles, you would swear those guys were in the third week of a hunger strike or had just been released from some POW camp. No doubt, Randy had made excellent progress in the two years and a month we’d been training together. When we started, he was about 170 pounds, though he hadn’t been training or eating properly at that point. The early and mid-20s are often fantastic years for making gains. You still have the supercharged hormones of adolescence coursing through your veins—although they’re just about to start dwindling—yet your metabolism has begun to slow down, which allows many former hardgainers to pack on some solid muscular pounds at last. “Well?” Randy asked, huffing and puffing as he finished a few poses in the locker-room mirror. An old man who was dusting his feet and his private parts with Gold Bond powder nearby looked at us as if we were crazy. Yeah, you’re the one blowing powder up your wazoo, and we’re the weirdos. “Another five pounds of muscle in the right places is what you need,” I commented. “Which places are those?” “Your arms, your calves and your upper chest. Right now they are all weak compared to the rest of your physique. And a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, right?” As I predicted, he immediately became defensive, trying to flex those areas extra hard to convince me they weren’t that bad. “Let’s be real here for a minute, Randy,” I began. “Like me, you are no mass monster on the level of a Ronnie, a Jay or even Jay when he was 20 years old and already 250 pounds. As such, you have to get by on your overall shape and balance more than overwhelming amounts of thick muscle. There are guys in

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Neveux \ Model: Robert Hatch

Machines can help sculpt muscular detail.

Neveux \ Model: Omar Deckard

Free weights are the choice of most bodybuilders for packing on mass.

the pro ranks today—like Darrem Charles, Rich Jones and others— who aren’t the biggest guys onstage but have such incredible shape and symmetry that they’re able to beat most of the giants.” “I’m not that small, am I?” Now his self-esteem was starting to slip away. Time to back-pedal just a few steps before it went down the drain. “I never said you were small. Look, you have a lot of things going for you. Your shoulders are wide and your waist and hips are narrow, which gives you a great V-taper. Your quads and hams are about even, which is a rare thing. And your back has some good width and thickness to it. But if you are to be as good as you can be, you need to bring up those weaker areas so they aren’t distractions. Otherwise, the judges will be drawn to them, and they’ll have an excuse to place you farther down the lineup. But if your physique is evenly developed and flows together, the opposite will happen. Some bigger guys may not have that overall balance. They may have a great upper body and weak legs or be missing something like triceps or calves. Wouldn’t it be nice to blow past some of your competition, especially when there will probably be light heavies who are three or four inches shorter than you and about 15 pounds heavier?” A dreamy smile spread on his face. “Yeah, that would be wicked cool.” Quick lesson in Bostonian for the rest of the country: Wicked equals very, as in “Dunkin’ Donuts has a wicked good new iced latte.” Randy was sold and was putting his faith in me. That was not easy to deal with when I was on low carbs and not my usual articulate, energetic self. In fact, lately I’d communicated more in grunts than complete sentences. Needing a bit of posing practice myself, I decided to hit a few shots before packing up my gym bag. Randy watched, and a mischievous light came over his eyes. “You know, you really could use a little more triceps yourself,” he said, barely containing a laugh. “Ah, who asked you?” I spat back. “They’re not that bad.” IM

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Eric Broser Answers Questions About His Stellar Strategy for Building Size and Strength by Steve Holman


Photography by Michael Neveux

You may recognize Eric Brosers name from his countless articles, columns and items that have appeared in IRON MAN. Or you may have seen his handle, BodyFX2, attached to message-board posts and features on the Internet. The man is everywhere, primarily because hes in such high demand. Thats because his Power/Rep Range/Shock strategy is helping so many bodybuilders grow without plateaus—and grow fast. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 131

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In case you haven’t been reading IM lately or visiting key bodybuilding Web sites, here’s a brief explanation of P/RR/S: Power. Train every exercise with straight sets—no supersets, trisets or drop sets—and reps in the four-to-six zone. Rep Range. For the first exercise you pick a weight that lets you get seven to nine reps. On the second exercise you do 10 to 12 reps. On the third you move the rep range up to the high-end of fast-twitch recruitment—13 to 15. Shock. Here you hammer your muscles with supersets, drop sets and so on. Reps for most muscles stay in the eight-to-10 range, but extended-set techniques are a must. It sounds simple enough, but my partner, Jonathan Lawson, and I have been using it for almost a

year now (see TEG on page 64), and though we’ve had success with it, we have questions. If you’ve been using it, you may have some too. Let’s get some answers from the P/RR/S guru himself. IM: We made incredible strength gains with P/RR/S over the first nine weeks—three cycles. Is that normal, and what do you think is the reason? EB: Yes, that’s normal, although by no means am I calling you normal, my friend! [Laughs] Interestingly enough, when I first developed the principles behind P/RR/S training, increasing strength was not a top priority of mine. Rather, I was looking to find other ways, aside from strength increases, to stimulate gains in muscle mass. However, once more and more trainees started using my system, I began receiving consistent feedback regarding the breaking of both size and strength plateaus. That led me to realize that the factors that lead to

Model: Eric Broser

“The reason why most trainees stagnate is not because they’ve reached their genetic potential but because they are no longer challenging their muscles and nervous and endocrine systems with their workouts.”

stagnation are, in general, all interrelated. I like to call the human body an adaptive machine. I’ve often talked about just how brilliant it is at adapting to a given stimulus. Early on in one’s training career just the act of lifting weights consistently is a novel enough stimulus to force the body to add muscle and increase its strength. Over time, however, the central nervous system and muscles become more and more proficient and will no longer respond the way they once did to the same type of training. In other words, the reason most trainees stagnate is not because they’ve reached their genetic potential but because they are no longer challenging their muscles and nervous and endocrine systems with their workouts. My P/RR/S program addresses that particular problem in a very specific manner, allowing everyone to start gaining size and strength again and to continue to do so on a consistent basis.

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One of the primary reasons that P/RR/S training works so well is the miniperiodization that is inherent in the program. Each week we look to stimulate a specific and unique growth pathway, which not only creates a powerful multifaceted attack on the muscles but also keeps the body off-balance so that it can’t overadapt to any one form of training. That said, I would not generally recommend a back-off or drop set during Power week, as I feel it could compromise the long-term strategy behind the program. It’s best to let the specific goal of each week stand on its own, especially for those new to the P/RR/S protocol.

IM: Doing all sets in the fourto-six range, as in Power week, produces little, if any, muscle burn. Since muscle burn— caused by lactic acid—is directly linked to anabolic hormone release, do you think the lowrep Power week should include some type of back-off set or drop set? Or would that reduce the effectiveness of using pure Power rep ranges? EB: Muscle burn has been directly linked to the release of natural growth hormone, but many studies have shown that increased testosterone output occurs when you perform multijoint exercises at about 85 to 90 percent of one-rep max, which is the basic premise behind Power week. Additionally, by handling near maximum poundages on compound movements, we are also stimulating the highest-threshold motor units—the other central goal of Power week.

Model: Eric Broser

Model: Skip La Cour

“There are those out there who respond best to low-rep training due to a unique fiber makeup, and/or the ability to fire off a tremendous number of motor units with each rep. Skip La Cour falls into that category.”

IM: When you tax the muscles with heavy weights and low reps during Power workouts, then reduce the weights for Rep Range workouts the following week, aren’t you reducing the stress on the muscles because you’re using less weight instead of more? Wouldn’t that cause a regression in stimulation instead of progressively increasing the stress on the muscles? EB: If increasing the stress on a muscle through constant progres-

“One of the reasons P/RR/S works so well is the miniperiodization that is inherent in the system.”

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(continued on page 138)

(continued from page 134) sion

in the amount of weight lifted for low reps were the singular factor in the mechanics of muscle growth, powerlifters would be the most muscularly massive athletes of all those involved in the iron sports. However, that’s not the case. Hypertrophy is a multifaceted phenomenon and occurs through a number of physiological pathways, each of which is stimulated by specific training methods. You’ve noted that fact in your writings as well. Human muscle is made up of two basic fiber types, fast and slow twitch; however, there are a few subtypes that lie along the continuum. In order to stimulate and affect growth in all of those fibers, we need to perform work to failure in several different ranges of repetitions. It is my firm belief that one of the reasons most people reach plateaus in growth (and strength) is that they fall into a comfort zone whereby they tend to stick to a specific number of repetitions per set throughout their training career. In doing so, they are failing to attain growth in all of their muscle fibers, limiting their potential for gains as well as causing stagnation due to overadaptation of the muscles and central nervous system.

Model: Eric Broser

Model: Omar Deckard

“Hypertrophy is a multifaceted phenomenon and occurs through a number of physiological pathways, each of which is stimulated by specific training methods.”

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IM: Of the three protocols, it appears the Rep Range week has the best potential for developing the most fiber types and growth pathways—exercise one, seven to nine reps; exercise two, 10 to 12 reps; exercise three, 13 to 15 reps. If someone is interested in building muscle, why not just use that continually and perhaps vary exercises? EB: I agree. If I were forced to choose just one of the three weekly protocols, with the main goal of increasing muscle size, I would definitely choose Rep Range. Using that

particular training method week in and week out would in and of itself be more effective than the way most people set up their training in general. However, I’m not interested in what is more effective but, rather, most effective. And what is most effective is a training program that attacks muscle growth from every conceivable angle. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, gains in size occur through not only simple fiber hypertrophy but also other physiological adaptations such as increases in mitochondrial enzymes, stored glycogen, triglyceride, ATP and phosphocreatine, from the laying down of additional capillary beds. I believe hyperplasia, or fiber splitting, is real as well. In addition, through the use of varying rep tempos, rest between sets, intensity techniques, repetition ranges and exercise combinations, we can tap into myriad hormones produced locally—meaning within muscle—and systemically that are responsible for increasing muscle mass. It seems that every day scientists are discovering new chemicals within the human body that affect the rate at which we can put on muscle, both directly and indirectly. P/RR/S was designed in an attempt to address all of those growth pathways and will continue to evolve as we learn more, both anecdotally and in the laboratory.

Model: Eric Broser

“Gains in size occur through not only simple fiber hypertrophy but also increases in mitochondrial enzymes, stored glycogen, triglyceride, ATP and phosphocreatine, from the laying down of additional capillary beds. I believe hyperplasia is real, as well.”

IM: As I said earlier, we gained a lot of strength with P/RR/S, but size seems to be more elusive. I think it could be from a lack of stimulation to the endurance components of the muscle fibers, like mitochondrial and capillary bed development, which is lacking with low-rep-only Power workouts. It may just be a hardgainer aberration. Is there anything you recommend for us hardgainer types who don’t respond well to low-rep Power sets? EB: I’ve seen this a few times but not very often. Leave it to you to make my job more difficult. [Laughs] Seriously, while I find that most trainees respond extremely well to the basic P/RR/S layout, there are those who need some minor variation of the program to

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realize their full potential. It’s easiest for me to troubleshoot a problem when I’m working one-on-one with a client, but let me give you some examples of how I might vary the routine for someone not gaining muscle as fast as I’d like. One solution is to increase the volume slightly on Power week so that you have the opportunity to ex-

haust more muscle fibers. Normally, I recommend about eight to 10 sets for large bodyparts and five to seven for smaller ones. But for hardgainers I sometimes find that 10 to 12 and eight to 10 sets, respectively, work better. Another way I’ve found to increase size gains for some individuals is to increase the frequency of

Rep Range and/or Shock week so that the structure is P/RR/RR/S or P/RR/S/RR, for example. Also, another general recommendation I make to most bodybuilders is to train each bodypart just once per week, but there are some with superior recovery abilities who need more frequent stimulation in order to make the most efficient gains.

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“Normally, I recommend about eight to 10 sets for large bodyparts and five to seven for smaller ones for someone who’s not gaining as fast as I’d like on Power week.” For those types I might step up their training split so that they hit each bodypart twice every eight or nine days. Since we are on the subject, I should also mention that I’ve had some clients make more rapid gains in size by using more Powerweek work rather than Rep Range or Shock. You must remember that

there are those out there who respond best to low-rep training due to a unique fiber makeup and/or the ability to fire off a tremendous number of motor units with each rep. Skip La Cour falls into that category. He generally trains in the range of four to six reps to failure just about every week—and nobody could argue

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Model: Eric Broser

week—and nobody could argue with his results. In addition, there are many wellknown strength coaches who feel that the more years one has been consistently training, the fewer reps per set it takes for him or her to stimulate hypertrophy. IM: I can attest to some trainees’ responding better to lower reps. Jonathan is in that

category, while I’m more of a hardgainer type who responds to longer tension times. That makes our workout structure especially challenging. On the subject of challenging workouts, in a recent article you mentioned creating hybrid P/RR/S workouts in which you combine all of the protocols in every bodypart routine. Can you give me an example? Also, how long should

someone use that style before going back to standard P/RR/S? EB: Yes, hybrid P/RR/S training is a protocol I started experimenting with a couple of years ago. I only recommend that people use it after they have consistently worked with the basic P/RR/S outline for at least a year or two, and for only short periods—like four weeks or so. It’s just another way to provide a unique stimulus to your muscles, endocrine

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as well as your mind. An example of how you might employ a hybrid P/RR/S workout for chest is as follows: Bench presses 3 x 4-6 Incline dumbbell presses 3 x 13-15, 10-12, 7-9 Seated flye machine (with end-of-set X-Rep partials) 2 x 8-10 Another variation could look something like this: Bench presses 3 x 7-9, 10-12, 13-15 Incline dumbbell presses 3 x 4-6 Seated machine flyes (drop sets) 2 x 8-10(4-6) I like to get very creative when I embark on my short periods of hybrid P/RR/S workouts. By the way, one of the most effective Shock techniques I’ve ever used in conjunction with my P/RR/S program is X Reps. They are an amazing trigger for new muscle growth. IM: Thanks for the positive feedback on our X-Rep concept. I noticed that you often include a very high-rep range during Rep Range week—16 to 20. Why do you feel it’s necessary to go that high? Isn’t that tapping more into the low-threshold motor units and fatiguing the muscle before much fast-twitch recruitment happens? EB: I don’t think necessary is the right word—beneficial is better. First of all, I do not feel that 16 to 20 reps is an absurd number to perform, especially for only two or three sets in a given workout. There are some training methods that call for 50 to 100 reps in a single set, which also has its place every once in a while. So, while I don’t feel that people should build their entire workout around such high-rep sets, I do feel that they should be included in small but consistent doses. There are several crucial benefits to performing high-rep sets. Remember earlier when I mentioned that muscles get larger through multiple types of physiological adaptations? Well, with sets of 16 to 20 reps you bring a tremendous amount of blood and lactic acid into the

target muscle, which we both know is a trigger for natural growth hormone release. And if you’re interested in big muscles, then you’re interested in increasing your GH output. Second, the high volume of blood forced through the vascular system by high reps will carry with it valuable nutrients to nourish the muscles and surrounding tissues. In addition, it has been shown that highrep weight training can enhance capillary density, increase the diameter of existing blood vessels and help to stimulate the creation of new blood vessels. All of that will directly impact the overall size and volume of your muscles. Good stuff! One other thing I would also like to address is the psychological aspect of high-rep training. Without a doubt it’s more mentally and emotionally exhausting to perform an all-out set of 20 reps than a set of four to six or eight to 10. It takes far more commitment to deal with the pain and burn associated with high reps and a lot more concentration and focus to deal with a set of that length; however, I believe that this form of training will over time increase your pain threshold, enhance your ability to concentrate harder and longer, and push your mind/muscle connection to a higher level. All of those things will filter down into all of your other workouts and allow your training and overall progress to reach new heights. IM: When a trainee does pure negatives, the lowering part of the stroke only, with a heavier-than-normal poundage, it causes a lot of fiber damage. If

“Without a doubt it’s more mentally and emotionally exhausting to perform an all-out set of 20 reps than a set of four to six or eight to 10.”

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a lot of fiber damage. If trainees want to do pure negatives, should they do them during Power, Rep Range or Shock workouts? EB: Even though I consider pure negatives a shock technique, I’d use them during Power week in place of, or in conjunction with, the normal protocol. And because of the tremendous amount of fiber damage and central nervous system exhaustion that pure-negative training will cause, I would reserve it only for very advanced trainees on a quite limited basis. IM: How about D.C., Dante’s multirep rest/pause—three sets done with the same weight and a 20-second rest after each? Does that fall into Power, Rep Range or Shock? EB: First, let me mention that Dante is a friend of mine and someone I have the highest respect for, both as a training theorist and as a person. His D.C. method has helped thousands of people gain new size and strength, and it’s a program that many people switch back and forth

from, along with my own P/RR/S training. As for his specific multirep rest/ pause technique, it’s something that can often fit in quite nicely during the Shock week of P/RR/S. IM: Do you use forced reps, and if so, where—Power, Rep Range or Shock? EB: I do not use forced reps at every workout, but when I do, it usually occurs during Power week. I should mention that most often I train alone, but I’d perhaps use forced reps a bit more often if I had a steady workout partner. Quite honestly though, I’m at a point now where I’ve learned to focus so intensely on every rep that by the time I reach positive failure, I believe I have fired off just about every available muscle fiber! IM: Do you ever recommend a layoff, and if so, after how many cycles of P/RR/S? EB: Yes, I do recommend scheduled layoffs from the gym. For the average natural trainee I believe that after every three or

four cycles—nine to 12 weeks—of P/RR/S, he or she should take off one full week. If trainees are uncomfortable with the idea of completely staying out of the gym, they should at the very least follow every three to four P/RR/S cycles with one to two weeks of low-intensity training. IM: Interesting. Thanks for the thought-provoking interview. I’ll have additional questions for you after we experiment more with P/RR/S. EB: I’m ready when you are. By the way, I want to thank you for included P/RR/S in some of your workouts in your latest e-book [Xtraordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, available at]. What a tremendous resource of printable mass-building programs! IM: Thanks for the plug. When we find something that works, we want other bodybuilders to try it. Which is why we included P/RR/S in our X-Rep Reload routines. We’ve tried it, and we like it. It’s a great system. IM

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Model: Eric Broser

“Multirep rest/pause fits in quite nicely during the Shock week of P/RR/S.

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to L-Carnitine Can Help Burn Bodyfat and Increase Anabolic Receptors by Jerry Brainum


ou wouldn’t say that L-carnitine had an auspicious start in nutrition science. Discovered in 1905 by Russian scientists investigating a meat extract, carnitine didn’t arouse much interest in the scientific world. In 1952, studies proved it to be an essential nutrient—for the species Tenebrio molitor, more commonly known as the mealworm. The apparent necessity of carnitine for the worm led to its designation as vitamin BT. Soon, however, carnitine morphed into the Rodney Dangerfield of nutrients, when it lost its designation as a vitamin. Carnitine didn’t seem to be essential in human nutrition. Further studies in 1958 found that carnitine was indeed vital. Scientists determined that carnitine, a name derived from carnos, meaning “meat,” was essential to the process of fat oxidation in cells. Fat oxidation occurs in a portion of the cell called the mitochondria, where energy is produced in the form of ATP. You need carnitine to shuttle long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it and two enzymes mix it up to burn fat. Without carnitine, that can’t happen.

Recognition of carnitine’s role in fat oxidation eventually led to its use in food supplements as a so-called fat burner. Theoretically, it should: 1) Enhance fat oxidation 2) Increase muscle glycogen stores through enhanced use of fat as a fuel 3) Increase use of glucose as a fuel 4) Lower acetyl coenzyme-A content in cells, which in turn activates another enzyme, pyruvate dehydrogenase, leading to more glucose use and less lactate. The scenario favors decreased muscular fatigue. While those effects all seem perfectly plausible, most studies examining the effects of carnitine as either an ergogenic aid or a fat oxidation agent have come up short. One reason is that taking carnitine supplements increases plasma levels of it but not muscle levels. On the other hand, recent evidence shows that there is a way to substantially increase muscle carnitine. Your body gets carnitine from

two sources: food and what’s produced in the body. Meats contain the highest amount of carnitine, while fruits and vegetables contain low amounts. Most diets have an average daily intake of 20 to 200 milligrams of carnitine. While vegetarians have lower blood carnitine than meat eaters, they rarely show any signs of carnitine deficiency. That’s because the body, which contains about 20 grams of carnitine, synthesizes it efficiently. Losses are rapidly replaced. Only those with certain inherited conditions have outright carnitine deficiencies, usually involving mutations in the cellular carnitine transporter. People who have the deficiency have trouble absorbing carnitine in the intestines and lose more of it than normal through kidney elimination. Primary carnitine deficiency is serious, resulting in heart problems, musculoskeletal disease, low blood sugar and other ills. The treatment requires large doses of carnitine, or the outcome is death. Such deficiencies, however, are rare. Most people can easily produce sufficient carnitine provided (continued on page 158 they take in \ SEPTEMBER 2007 155

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Neveux \ Model: Steve Namat

Carnitine appears to help muscles use glucose as fuel, and it also improves muscle recovery.

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Megadoses of Lcarnitine may have you smelling like dead fish.

(continued from page 155) the raw

materials, including the amino acids lysine and methionine, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and niacin. The more carnitine your food contains, the less you absorb. Regular meat eaters absorb less carnitine than vegetarians. A high-fat, low-carb diet increases blood carnitine after six days but also leads to greater excretion of it. Most obese people have higher blood carnitine than leaner people do. Oral carnitine supplements have a systemic bioavailibility of 5 to 15 percent. The largest absorbable oral dose is 2,000 milligrams. Any more than that is rapidly excreted through the kidneys. Muscle is especially stubborn in regard to carnitine absorption, since its carnitine stores turn over more slowly. Some

evidence indicates that a particular form of carnitine, called acetyl Lcarnitine, which offers some protective benefits in the brain, can enter the brain much more easily than L-carnitine can. One problem with taking carnitine orally is that what isn’t absorbed into the blood is degraded by intestinal bacteria into trimethylamine. The same thing happens with excess choline, and you end up smelling like a dead fish. Taking riboflavin, a B-complex vitamin, seems to prevent that effect, as does avoiding megadoses of either carnitine or choline. Studies suggesting the benefits of supplemental carnitine for athletic purposes are equivocal at best. A few show that athletes who take it (continued on page 164 experience

Researchers gave three grams a day of carnitine in divided doses to healthy adults who had no genetic carnitine deficiency, and the subjects experienced an increase in carnitineinduced long-chain fat oxidation. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 159

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(continued from page 159) improved oxygen uptake and decreased plasma lactate. Again, the problem is that while oral carnitine supplements increase its plasma levels, muscle levels don’t seem to change. Another issue is quality control in the manufacture of the supplements. One study analyzed 12 overthe-counter carnitine products.1 The actual carnitine content averaged only 52 percent of label value. Five of the 12 products tested didn’t dissolve or break down properly. Recent studies have discovered a method of improving carnitine uptake into muscle.2 Increasing insulin secretion by eating simple sugar ups muscle carnitine by 15 percent within five hours. If that sounds familiar, it’s because other studies showed that using the same technique increases muscle uptake of creatine. Elevated insulin activates the transport proteins for both creatine and carnitine in muscle.

One study found that taking L-carnitine increased exercise time to exhaustion by 14 percent in sedentary rats and 30.3 percent in trained rats.

Even so, certain obvious problems emerge. The body has to release a lot of insulin.3 That requires

eating more than 90 grams of simple sugars, but if you do that prior to training, you negate use of fat as a fuel source during the workout. That appears to cancel the whole point of taking carnitine orally. Many scientists suggest that the limiting factor in how rapidly the body burns fat isn’t L-carnitine but rather the enzyme that works with it, namely CPT-1. The primary brake on the enzyme is malonyl coenzyme-A—which is produced by carbohydrate intake. That’s one reason taking in carbs while training prevents the use of fat as fuel. Some studies, however, show that you can increase the activity of CPT1 in the liver if you take L-carnitine and genistein, a substance found in soy. Isolated fat cells exposed to L-carnitine increased the activity of genes linked to fat oxidation while suppressing genes associated with fat synthesis.4 The bad gene, called PPAR-gamma, recently made the news when scientists gave rats a

Energy is produced in the form of ATP in the mitochondria of the cells. You need carnitine to shuttle long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it and two enzymes mix it up to burn fat.

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drug that prevents its activity. The rats could not gain fat, no matter how much or what they ate. Other rat-based studies show that carnitine may work better for those with more exercise experience. For example, one found that taking Lcarnitine increased exercise time to exhaustion by 14 percent in sedentary rats and 30.3 percent in trained rats.5 Experimenters observed greater activity of carnitine in the soleus muscle, which is primarily composed of type 1 muscle fibers, the fibers that have a greater capacity to burn fat. While many studies show that carnitine has little effect on fat oxidation, others indicate otherwise. Researchers gave three grams a day of carnitine in divided doses to healthy adults who had no genetic carnitine deficiency, and the subjects experienced an increase in carnitine-induced long-chain fat oxidation.6 Another study used tracers to track the use of fat in 12 subjects who took three grams of carnitine supplements a day for 10 days. They experienced a significant increase in fat oxidation, with no loss of body protein.7 Why the discrepancies? One reason is the failure to consider the uptake time associated with taking carnitine orally. Taking it 60 to 90 minutes before exercise isn’t enough time for it to leave your stomach, get absorbed in your small intestine and then be transported in the blood into muscle. A study that traced the route of orally taken carnitine found that five hours later only 22.5 percent of the dose had been absorbed into muscle; 48.8 percent was still in the intestine. While the debate on the fat-burning merits of carnitine continues, a few other exercise effects have emerged. Several studies show that taking two grams of carnitine after a workout prevents excessive muscle soreness and improves exercise recovery. Carnitine enhances the function of the endothelial lining of the blood vessels, thus enhancing blood flow within muscle and providing oxygen to cells. Carnitine appears to act as a vasodilator, meaning that it opens blood vessels, improving circulation. Experiments (continued on page 170 have dem-

One recent study found that 21 days of taking carnitine increased the number of androgen receptors in muscle, which interact with testosterone.8 Carnitine is involved in the pituitary and testicular production of testosterone, and it works with testosterone in treating male sexual dysfunction.9 In the testes, carnitine is needed to transport fat for use as an energy source for testosterone synthesis. Rats exposed to the stress of cold-water swimming showed lower testosterone levels—except when they ate carnitine.

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(continued from page 166) onstrated that exercisers who take carnitine orally experience only limited damage to muscle fibers caused by eccentric, or negative, muscle contractions. Carnitine may also interact with anabolic hormones, which further aids recovery after intense training. One recent study found that taking carnitine for 21 days increased the number of androgen receptors in muscle, which interact with testosterone.8 Carnitine is involved in the pituitary and testicular production of testosterone, and it works with testosterone in treating male sexual dysfunction.9 In the testes, carnitine is needed to transport fat for use as an energy source for testosterone synthesis. Rats subjected to the stress of cold-water swimming showed lower testosterone levels— except when they ate carnitine. Carnitine may also blunt the effects of an overactive thyroid or prevent side effects in those who use thyroid drugs10 by inhibiting the entry of active thyroid hormone, T3, into cells. In addition, excess thyroid use rapidly depletes carnitine in the body, which may account for some of the muscle loss you see in people who have taken large doses of thyroid drugs. The side effects of carnitine have to do mainly with taking too much—mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps, diarrhea and rashes. Early carnitine supplements also contained a mixture of D and L isomers. The body uses only the L form, and the D form can displace it, thus leading to what appears to be a carnitine deficiency, as evidenced by muscle weakness and fatigue. Most supplements today don’t contain the useless D form.

References 1 Millington,

D.S., et al. (1993). Dietary supplement L-carnitine: Analysis of different brands to determine bioavailability and content. Clin Res Reg Affairs.10:71-80. 2 Stephens, F.B., et al. (2006). Carbohydrate ingestion augments L-carnitine retention in humans. J App Physiol. 102(3):1065-70. 3 Stephens, F.B., et al. (2007). A

threshold exists for the stimulatory effect of insulin on plasma L-carnitine clearance in humans. J Appl Physiol. 292:E637E641. 4 Shin, E.S., et al. (2006). Positive regulation of hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1A (CPT1A) activities by soy isoflavones and L-carnitine. Eur J Nut. 45(3):159-164. 5 Bacurau, R.P., et al. (2003). Does exercise training interfere with the effects of L-carnitine supplementation? Nutrition.19:337-341. 6 Muller, D.M., et al. (2002). Effects of oral L-carnitine supplementation on in vivo long-chain fatty acid oxidation in healthy adults. Metabolism. 51:1389-1391. 7 Wutzke, K.D., et al. (2004). The effect of L-carnitine on fat oxidation, protein turnover, and body composition in slightly overweight subjects. Metabolism. 53:1002-1006. 8 Kraemer, W.J., et al. (2006). Androgenic responses to resistance exercise: Effects of feeding and L-carnitine. Med Sci Sports Exer. 38:1288-1296. 9 Cavallini, G., et al. (2004). Carnitine versus androgen administration in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and fatigue associated with male aging. Urology. 63:641-46. 10 Benvenga, S. (2005). Effects of L-carnitine on thyroid metabolism and on physical exercise tolerance. Horm Metab Res. 3:566-71. IM

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Neveux \ Model: Greg Smyers


Carnitine enhances the function of the endothelial lining of the blood vessels, thus enhancing blood flow within muscle and providing oxygen to cells. Carnitine appears to act as a vasodilator, meaning that it opens blood vessels, improving circulation.

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Olympia Bound With His ’07 Arnold Classic Victory, Victor Martinez’s Star Is Rising by Ilir Gatollari

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This photo and all training photos courtesy of MHP


ome people thought Victor Martinez had the greatest unrealized potential in bodybuilding since Chris Cormier. Then on March 3, 2007, Victor finally did what the physique world had been waiting for him to do since he won the ’03 Night of Champions: He nailed the Arnold Classic title over two-time defending champ Dexter Jackson. It wasn’t easy. Victor is a competitor who possesses unimaginable genetic gifts. His potential is so extreme that eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman has publicly stated that Victor will be Mr. O. While most victories are a boon for competitors, the ’03 NOC had become Martinez’s albatross. It was the benchmark by which the rest of his pro career was judged, and the judging was tough on him. By all informed accounts, he simply couldn’t repeat his previous condition. While he came out strong in the ’04 season, winning the GNC Show of Strength over Darrem Charles and Gustavo Badel, he was far from his ’03 NOC mark. His subsequent dismal and disappointing ninth-place finish at the ’04 Olympia set the stage for a series of blows that would call into question Victor’s

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competitive future. The ensuing ’05 contest season saw him struggle with seventh at the Arnold Classic, third at the New York Pro, fifth at the San Francisco Pro and fifth at the Olympia, after which he dragged his body home looking at his shoes. What was he going to do now? With perhaps the greatest potential in the sport, he just couldn’t seem to get it together. Martinez himself wondered if he ever could. Then he showed up at the ’06 Arnold Classic looking like the old Victor—only bigger and more imposing—kindling hope that things were turning around. News of his controversial third-place finish sent a shock wave through the sport. At the ’06 Olympia he looked even better, weighing more than 260 pounds. He blew everyone away. His image in silhouette behind the screen at the finals made the hair on the back of people’s necks stand up. He was amazing—only a fraction from pushing the great Ronnie Coleman into third place instead of second behind Jay Cutler. Victor Martinez wasn’t just back; he’d brought out a whole new Victor—and one who was freakin’ dangerous.

Victory at Last

Victor could very likely fulfill Ronnie Coleman’s prophecy. The only problem is that Ronnie wasn’t counting on it happening before he retired.

The ’07 Arnold Classic would finally find Martinez the last man standing in one of the toughest and deepest bodybuilding fields the world has ever seen. His win was not only undisputed but a glorious crowning achievement. So it’s looking as if Victor could very likely fulfill Ronnie Coleman’s prophecy. The only problem is that Ronnie wasn’t counting on it happening before he retired. What helped Victor make an improvement so profound and encompassing that it would pluck him from a downward spiral and elevate him to a spot in front of the best of the best pro bodybuilders in the world? Victor trained at the same gym, with the same trainer, ate the same food and pulled the same tricks out of the same bag that he’d used in the past. It was obvious, though, that this time he’d had some help. What

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made the dramatic difference? Two very important notes are relevant here. First, some time in 2001, Victor purchased several hundred dollars’ worth of a heavily marketed and supposedly effective brand of supplements (a brand you probably know very well). They did nothing. So he swore off supplements and didn’t touch them for more than four years. Today, however, Victor is virtually the only high-profile pro who has endorsed just one supplement com-

pany. You can’t blame athletes for chasing a bigger paycheck, but with each new company they represent, the worth of their endorsement goes down proportionately. How can so-and-so say that ABC brand of supplements gave him a winning 184 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Victor’s Secret Weapons Cyclin-GF was the first test product that Martinez used with great success. Here’s how it works: Within your body are millions of inactive muscle cells—or as the medical researchers call them muscle precursor cells. MPCs expire unless they’re kick-started, but once they’re activated, they begin dividing and forming pools of myoblast cells that are programmed to become muscle fibers—but only under ideal anabolic conditions. When MHP researchers examined what needed to occur in order to activate and develop MPCs into fully grown muscle cells, they found that the greatest window of opportunity occurred at night. They found a relationship between sleep quantity and quality and the cascade of hormones needed for growing new muscle. MHP’s Cyclin-GF is a multiacting nighttime formula that promotes quality sleep and stimulates a cascade of anabolic hormone production. Cyclin-GF helps get you into the deep-sleep and REM stages faster and remain in REM sleep longer. The formula employs an advanced fullphase technology to induce the production of critical hormones needed for muscle fiber development and growth. Additionally, anti-arrestor ingredients neutralize and reduce the levels of damaging arrestors that limit muscle growth. With Cyclin-GF, peak MPC activation occurs, followed by elevated muscle fiber growth and regeneration, increasing the overall rate of muscle growth and size. Along with Cyclin-GF, Victor used MHP’s selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs. Over the past 10 years leading scientists and biochemists have been developing a new class of anabolic-steroidlike compounds and have perfected what could be the muscle-building breakthrough of the century. Steroids work by binding to androgen receptors on muscle tissue, where they enter the cell nucleus and stimulate protein synthesis. Androgen receptors don’t only exist on muscle tissue, however; they’re found throughout the body on other tissues and such organs as the prostate, heart and liver. The binding of androgens to the various receptors is nonselective because they target all androgen receptors and not just those in muscle. Nonselectivity results in lower potency and may lead to undesirable side effects. With the advent of SARM technology MHP researchers developed SARM-X, a supplement designed to work as a selective androgen receptor modulator. SARM-X is specifically engineered to deliver a full dose directly to muscle tissue and stimulate more rapid muscle growth. Its superior selectivity triggers the greatest possible musclebuilding reaction yet presents less risk of side effects, making SARM-X the most advanced over-the-counter compound available. One look at Victor and there’s no question MHP’s secret formulas worked.

edge when he was endorsing XYZ brand last year? Victor Martinez has endorsed MHP products only. His association with that company and its products was the only difference he made in his bodybuilding career between the end of his dismal ’05 season and the ’07 Arnold Classic. That makes Victor’s endorsement of MHP products the most rock solid in the entire sports-supplement industry, bar none. Why MHP? Short answer: Gerard Dente, former competitive bodybuilder and owner of MHP. Victor signed on at the end of the ’05 season, and that’s when his competitive edge sharpened. Gerard crafted an advanced supplement program for Victor that included MHP’s Probolic-SR timed-release protein, along with TRAC Extreme, the industry gold standard in advanced nitric oxide, creatine and energy delivery, and Glutamine-SR, a patented glutamine with superior bioavailability. That was Victor’s core supplement program. Then, knowing firsthand the unique physical demands put on a bodybuilder, Gerard worked hand in hand with key medical experts to formulate a pair of breakthrough products that were in the prerelease phase—Cyclin-GF and a compound known by the acronym SARMS. Remember, Martinez hadn’t touched a supplement in more than four years; he was the proverbial clean slate. Those two supplements did much for his contest prep (for more on them, see “Victor’s Secret Weapons” at left). His off-season training was more intense than it had ever been.

Overload Training “The most important elements of any successful training program are intensity and consistency,” he says. “In other words, train like an animal with 100 percent effort and keep at it—but don’t expect results overnight.” Victor’s current program is the result of 15 years of fine-tuning and tweaking. It’s a high-volume program with few (continued on page 190)


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Shape, proportion, mass, detail—Victor has it all.

presses 4 x 20, 15, 10, 6-10 Hack squats 3 x 20, 15, 15 Squats 4 x 15, 10, 10 Lunges (barbell or Smith machine) 3 x 10 Leg extensions 3 x 20, 15, 10 Day 2, p.m. No workout Day 3, a.m. Pullups 3 x max Seated rows 3 x 15, 12, 10 One-arm dumbbell rows 3 x 10, 8, 6 Bent-over rows or T-bar rows 3 x 10, 10, 8-10 Deadlifts (tap and go) 3 x 6-10 Day 3, p.m. Lying one-arm extensions 3 x 8-10 Pushdowns 3 x 15, 12, 10 Close-grip bench presses or bench dips 3 x 8-10 Seated calf raises 3 x 25-30 Leg press calf raises 2 x 25-30 Hanging leg raises 3 x 25-30 Crunches 3 x 25 Day 4 Off Day 5, a.m. Incline dumbbell presses 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6 Incline barbell presses 3 x 10, 8, 6 Dumbbell bench presses 3 x 10, 8, 6 Decline barbell presses or flyes 3 x 10-15

(continued from page 186) rest days. “It’s what my body responds best to,” he explains. Martinez has devised an odd but extremely effective rotation that hits all bodyparts in four workouts over five days using a split routine. He trains three days on/one day off, and picks up on the next workout scheduled. He trains abs and calves at every other workout.

Day 1 a.m.: hamstrings, calves; p.m.: shoulders Day 2 a.m.: quads; p.m.: no workout Day 3 a.m.: back; p.m.: triceps Day 4 Off Day 5 a.m.: chest; p.m.: biceps Day 6 Cycle begins again

Day 1, a.m. Lying leg curls 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8 Single-leg leg curls (standing) 3 x 12, 10, 8 Stiff-legged deadlifts 3 x 10, 10, 10 Standing calf raises 3 x 25, 20, 15 Seated calf raises 3 x 25, 20, 15 Day 1, p.m. Seated barbell front presses 4 x 10, 8, 8, 6 Superset Lateral raises 3 x 10-12 Dumbbell presses 3 x 8-10 Superset Upright rows 3 x 8-10 Bent-over laterals 3 x 10-12 Hanging leg raises 3 x 25-30 Cable crunches 3 x 20 Day 2, a.m. Incline leg

Day 5, p.m. Barbell curls 3 x 15, 12, 10 Seated alternate dumbbell curls 3 x 10-12 Concentration curls 3 x 10-12 Hammer curls (sometimes instead of concentration curls) 3 x 6-8 Day 6 Cycle repeats, starting with hamstrings, calves and shoulders, and continues on a three-dayson/one-day-off schedule.

Editor’s note: For more on Victor Martinez, visit IFBBPro or Maximum IM

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Physique Metamorphosis by John Little n the six years since Joanne Sharkey asked me to do phone consultations for her on Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system, the most common question we’ve received is, What did Mike mean when he said, “As the body changes, training requirements change”? Does it mean that everybody’s different? Does it mean that there could be a time when someone could (or should) perform more volume—or even high volume—in one’s training? The answer to the last two questions is no. The answer to the first is what we’re talking about in this installment.

To begin with, everybody is not different. As Mike accurately pointed out years ago: “We aren’t all that different physiologically. We’re all unique as individuals, but when a young man or a young woman goes to medical school and studies muscle physiology, whose physiology is he or she studying? Everybody’s. “We all have the same muscle physiology. The biochemical changes leading to muscle growth in Mike Mentzer are the same as the ones leading to muscle growth in you. It follows that the specific stimulus required to induce the biochemical changes leading to muscle growth in you and me is the same. What is that stimulus? High-intensity muscular contraction!” That’s why nobody ever put an inch on an arm as a result of washing dishes—the intensity of muscular contraction involved in that activity is far too low. As Mike also pointed out: “We all grow at different rates of speed. I might grow faster as a result of high-intensity training, but

we’ll all grow faster when each of us trains more intensely. If you’re not gaining fast now or if you’re not gaining at all, you’ll gain faster when you train more intensely. Anybody will gain more rapidly when he trains more intensely. He may not gain as rapidly as me. Then again, he might gain more rapidly than I do because of innate adaptability. We all have different innate adaptabilities to exercise—age, physical condition, motivation, a lot of different factors. The underlying muscle physiology, however, is the same. “The people who say we all have different training requirements are entirely wrong. They’re ignorant of the basic facts regarding muscle physiology. If we all had different physiologies, medical science could not exist. A doctor would have to study each individual as a separate physiological entity and then learn all the intricacies of that physiology and devise medicine around them. The very fact that the basic principles of physiology apply to the whole human race is what makes medical science a viable discipline.” \ SEPTEMBER 2007 199

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As for the issue of whether highvolume training makes sense, the answer is that a high volume of training and a high intensity of training are mutually exclusive. The body requires high-intensity muscular contractions to produce the biochemical reactions that result in muscle growth. Low-intensity contractions, which let you carry on a particular activity for a longer period of time, do very little to stimulate much, if any, growth at all. Again, try washing dishes for a couple of hours and let me know when you’ve put two inches on your arm. Let’s hear from Mike Mentzer on the issue: “Does anybody here think that growth comes easily? Has anybody grown ‘too fast’ this year? No, we all know that growth doesn’t come easily. You literally have to force growth. Now, tell me how you can force growth with light weights, mild exertion, easy workouts. You can’t. The harder you train, the faster you grow. The harder you train, the less time you can spend training, just as the faster you run, the less distance you can run.” Given the above facts, we are brought back to square one. So what did Mike mean when he said that as the body changes, training requirements change? Simply this: That as an individual’s muscles grow bigger, they also grow stronger. Consequently, the energy expended in one’s workout from a given muscle group

As an individual’s muscles grow bigger, they also grow stronger.

Bigger, stronger muscles expend more energy, so the larger you become, the more quickly you become exhausted.

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The bigger and stronger you are, the more stress you can impose on your body in any given set.

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increases dramatically. That causes you to grow exhausted more quickly and to take longer to recover from the workout. That should be evident to anyone who’s trained in a truly all-out manner. The harder the effort, the more quickly exhaustion intervenes; when your gas tank has been emptied, in other words, the workout is over. Your gas tank gets emptied very quickly when you are exerting yourself to the max. As you expend more energy in lifting heavier weights—300 pounds for 15 repetitions in the squat vs. only 120 pounds for 10 repetitions in the squat—it takes the body longer to replenish a greater energy debt than it does a lesser one. Or, as Mike put it: “As you grow stronger—that is, as the weights grow progressively

greater—the stress on your body becomes progressively greater and must be compensated for. Perhaps the easiest way to understand that phenomenon is to observe the stresses on your body when performing a warmup set of squats compared to what happens during the actual work set to failure. On the heavier work set you immediately recognize the much greater stress on the bones than you get on the warmup set. The same goes for the much greater demands on the cardiorespiratory system and so forth. “Now simply extrapolate that over time, as you lift progressively more weight from workout to workout. As the stresses grow progressively greater, they’ll eventually add up to overtraining. The first symptom will be a slowdown in progress, and if you continue with the same

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Within two to three weeks of embarking on a high-intensitytraining program, you should begin inserting an extra rest day or even two into your schedule.

volume and frequency, the stresses will cause complete cessation of progress. That’s typically referred to as a ‘sticking point.’ You need never experience a slowdown in progress, let alone a sticking point, if you bear in mind all the while that you must compensate for them.” Within two to three weeks of embarking on a Heavy Duty, high-intensity training program, you should begin adding an extra

rest day or even two at random so that you’re giving yourself sufficient time to recover from your workouts. Do that with increasing regularity until you’re training once every seven days or so. According to Mike: “The implication here is that if the individual trains again before the body’s growth production process is completed, it will be short-circuited and less than 100

units of possible progress will be realized. Once the individual is training once every seven days, I suggest a reduction in the volume of training, as outlined in my books, along the lines of the Consolidation Program. [Editor’s note: Please see The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer or High Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way for a detailed presentation of Mentzer’s Consolidation Program.]

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If you train before recovery is complete, you short-circuit the growth process.

“With a consolidation routine, there’s a decided shift in emphasis to predominately compound exercises—that is, ones that involve multiple muscle groups, such as squats, dips and deadlifts. A workout consisting of compound exercises still works all of the major muscle groups but with fewer total sets, making for minimum inroads into recovery ability. “Following the above advice, 204 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Compound exercises are best for efficient mass-building workouts.

you’ll never hit a sticking point. You’ll experience unbreached progress with your training. As I’ve written before, if scientists can send a man to the moon and bring him back safely each time, we should be able to succeed with every one of our

missions to the gym here on earth. Building bigger muscles should be a cakewalk compared to a moon walk.” In other words, anytime you increase the intensity of a workout—by lifting heavier weights,

performing more reps—you’ve increased the stress on your body. You must account for that both in the length (or volume) of your workouts and in the extra time that will be required between workouts in order for you to fully recover and adapt

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Model: Jose Raymond

Multijoint moves that train the largest muscles stimulate the metabolism and anabolic hormones.

from the training. Editor’s note: For a complete presentation of Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system, consult his books Heavy Duty II, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way and the newest book, The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer, all of which are available from Mentzer’s official Web site, John Little is available for phone consultation on Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training system. For rates and information, contact Joanne Sharkey at (310) 316-4519 or at, or see the ad on the opposite page. Article copyright © 2007, John Little. All rights reserved. Mike Mentzer quotations provided courtesy of Joanne Sharkey and are used with permission. IM

More-isolated finishing exercises should be used infrequently.

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A Commonsense Approach

Model: Hidetada Yamagishi

by Myron Mielke - Photography by Michael Neveux

f you’ve tried but repeatedly failed to reveal your six-pack abs, I’ve got the perfect plan for you. Many of the countless articles over the years on weight loss and shedding bodyfat offer sound advice and can produce incredible results. Even so, they always seem to miss the bridge between no diet and dieting. That in itself makes some plans difficult, perhaps impossible, to follow. Whatever results a plan might be capable of producing, if the average person can’t follow it, it isn’t going to be effective. Free download from

Don’t Go Cold Turkey

Cardio: Double-Duty Fat Burning According to most exercise physiology textbooks, the longer you do aerobic exercise, the more fat you burn. During the first 30 minutes of aerobics you burn an equal mixture of fat and carbohydrate. Then, as the carbs are depleted with extended exercise time, the fuel shifts mostly to fat. Two or more hours of consecutive aerobic exercise can burn about 90 percent fat. If you’re like most people, though, the notion of doing two straight hours of aerobics is about as attractive as watching Rosie O’Donnell dancing the tango nude with Louie Anderson in Macy’s. There’s got to be an easier way—and according to recent research, there is. A recent study compared doing one long to two short sessions of aerobic exercise. The study involved seven men, who engaged in three trials: 1) A single bout of 60 minutes of aerobics 2) Two bouts of 30 minutes each of aerobics, separated by a 20-minute rest 3) Rest, or control, group The exercise was done on a stationary cycle, using 60 percent of maximum oxygen intake, a moderate level of exercise intensity. The stimulus for fat burning during aerobics is a combination of increased catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and lowered insulin. The catecholamines directly stimulate enzymes that cause the release of free fatty acids into the blood. Insulin blocks that process, which is why you wouldn’t want to eat simple carbs prior to an exercise session targeted for fat burning. Past studies show that when you do two aerobic sessions on the same day, levels of fat-releasing hormones, such as the catecholamines and growth hormone, are higher during the second session than the first. Insulin is lower during the second workout, while interleukin-6, a cytokine related to increased fat oxidation during exercise, is higher. In the study described here, various processes related to fat release increased during the second 30-minute session while blood glucose levels declined, which further increased the use of fat as fuel. Even an hour after the workouts, levels of fat and ketones (indicative of increased liver fat oxidation) were higher when the workout was divided into two sessions. The researchers noticed that free fatty acids increased markedly during the 20-minute rest interval between the 30-minute sessions. Fat use peaked in the final 15 minutes of the second session. Catecholamines rose significantly, while insulin and glucose levels dropped. That indicates maximal fat use. Levels of growth hormone didn’t differ between the single or divided sessions. This information isn’t new to many pro bodybuilders. A common precontest practice is to divide aerobic work into two daily 30-to-45-minute sessions, evidently because the fat-loss payoff is bigger with two shorter sessions. An even more effective strategy may be interval training, characterized by alternating high and low intensity as determined by heart rate. That type of training is also associated with a considerably higher fat loss than conservative aerobic sessions. —Jerry Brainum Goto, K., et al. (2007). Enhancement of fat metabolism by repeated bouts of moderate endurance exercise. J Appl Physiol. 102(6):2158-2164.

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Model: Eric Domer

Let’s say you follow a somewhat typical off-season bodybuilding diet. You try to eat four to six times per day and try to eat protein with each meal. You drink one or two protein shakes a day, and you lift three to five days per week. You don’t count carbs, and you don’t limit desserts and high-fat foods. Pizza and burgers are part of your mass-building diet. Your abdominal muscles are not visible, but if you pull down on your stomach skin, you can sort of see one row of abs peeking through. By summer (June or July) you’d like to see a sixpack. I’ve seen people start diets at the beginning of January. They know they’ve added a few pounds of pure fat during the holiday season, and they’re fired up to get rid of it. Monday morning comes around, and they make up their own diet. One grapefruit and a bowl of raisin bran for breakfast are a good start, especially since Friday’s breakfast was an Egg McMuffin, hashbrowns and a pastry. Lunch consists of a hardboiled egg, two slices of melba toast, carrot sticks and a diet soda. Dinner is a huge salad with about one-half cup of ranch dressing. A bedtime snack is a few celery sticks. Day two ends up being much the same. By day three many are ready to cave in. McDonald’s drive-through is just too hard to resist for both breakfast and lunch. The person I just described was making up a diet based on what he thought a diet should be like. What about the person who reads about someone’s incredible 12-week transformation? That transformer, who eats an astonishing six to seven times per day, writes about his very own secret recipes. After trying the transformer’s secret recipe for frozen oatmeal-andsucralose Popsicles, the would-be dieter throws in the towel again, and McDonald’s drive-through awaits with open arms. The moral of the two stories: Gradually adjust your diet by making small changes. Don’t go from eating Snickers to carrot sticks (or frozen oatmeal Popsicles). That’s really hard to do. Most people fail when they try such an abrupt switch.

Fast-food emporiums can lure dieters, derailing a lot of hard work. Beware of Egg McMuffins (and Ronald McDonald).

Starting Off on the Right Foot A typical get-ripped diet lasts 12 to 16 weeks. That gives you plenty of time to slowly ease into your diet without abruptly changing anything. It’s much easier to make a few small changes at a time. Week 1: Make sure you eat five to six meals with high-quality protein. Stick with the high-protein meals throughout the whole plan. Next, eliminate one junk food from your diet. If you eat chocolate or drink regular soda, stop. Drink diet soda instead. That’s it for week one. Simple, huh? Week 2: Eliminate all burgers and pizza. If you eat at a fast-food restaurant, order a grilled-chicken sandwich and a small side salad with low-cal dressing instead of the fries. Week 3: Stop eating desserts. Many people love to finish dinner with a tasty dessert. You’ll need to eliminate desserts six days per week. Have a dessert or two on Sunday— as a treat and reward. Week 4: Salad time. Replace one meal per day with a large lettuce salad. I’d recommend dinner, since a lower carb intake later in the day helps burn bodyfat. Any vegetables

are fine in the salad; just leave off the croutons, cheese and high-calorie dressing. Eat a grilled chicken breast with the salad. Week 5: Introduce cardio. Incorporate three to four 30-minute cardio sessions into your weekly schedule. It doesn’t matter what kind of cardio you do. Find something you like. I prefer walking, running or biking outside. Do the cardio exercise four hours before or four hours after your weight workout. That will keep your strength up. Doing cardio immediately before you hit the weights can sap your energy.

Over the Hump By week six you could have lost between five and 10 pounds while maintaining your muscle mass. You shouldn’t be feeling too depleted either. To keep the progress going, however, you’ll need to step it up a little more. You’ll need to start monitoring your carbs more closely. Along with your five or six highprotein feedings, eat only three servings of complex carbs per day. Oatmeal for breakfast. Rice for lunch. A yam at 3 p.m. Now that you’ve eliminated various foods over the previous five weeks, here’s what you should be eating:

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By week nine you should be 10 to 15 pounds lighter. During week nine you might want to introduce a fat burner. Follow the directions on the label. For weeks 11 and 12 you’ll be doing some carb cycling. Basically, you eliminate carbs for two to three days and then eat more carbs for a day or two and then repeat the cycle. Keep protein high, and eat a few nuts or peanut butter on your lowcarb days to keep your calories from dipping too low. Increase cardio to six days per week. After week 12 you need to review your situation. If you need to lose more, keep going, but you might want to take a cheat day or two and eat some forbidden foods and then start right up again. It’ll be mentally refreshing when you cheat for a day or two.

Training Vegetables and lean beef or chicken make a great choice, but be careful what you wrap them in.

Contrary to what many personal trainers would have you believe, your weight training for getting ripped doesn’t have to be any different from when you’re building mass.

Breakfast Six egg whites with one yolk (scrambled) One bowl oatmeal with NutraSweet or Splenda Sugar-free Tang or iced tea

Midmorning Whey protein drink or Tuna salad with vegetables

Lunch Lean steak 1 cup rice (white or brown) Vegetables

Midafternoon Whey protein drink 1 yam

Dinner Large salad Chicken breast

Before Bed Cottage cheese Vegetables Follow the same plan for weeks seven through eight.

Go for cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower. They’re high in potassium and fiber. Add chicken for protein.

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Nuts can help you keep your calories high enough on lowcarb days—but no candy bars, even if they contain nuts.

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Model: Sagi Kalev

Train as heavy as you can for six to eight reps per set. You may lose some strength as you diet down, but that’s no reason to do high reps, which don’t support muscle growth.

A cheat meal can revitalize your metabolism.

Train as heavy as you can for six to eight reps. You’ll lose some strength when you diet down, but don’t feel that you have to increase your reps to 15 to 20 (or 100) to burn fat just because you’re dieting. Keep your workouts intense, heavy and brief. You do cardio to help burn the fat. You lift weights to build muscle. Keep it simple. Once you’ve completed the plan, you’ll have a better understanding of how to get ripped. At some point you’ll probably again add a few pounds in your bulking phase. When that happens, however, you’ll know that you’re in control, and you’ll be able to lose the weight when you need to—gradually.

You win the fat-loss war by making gradual changes over many weeks.

Editor’s note: Myron Mielke has been competitive in the sport of bodybuilding, a personal trainer and a gym owner. He is currently employed at a daily newspaper in Lancaster, California, in the graphics department. For more of his articles, visit IM \ SEPTEMBER 2007 221

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Jerry Brainum’s

Bodybuilding Pharmacology

Thyroid Void and Busting Diet Plateaus

about 30 pills. The pills turned out to be Armour thyroid, which the pro told me would promptly end my problem. He was right, and I reached my fat loss goal shortly afterward. Bodybuilders have used thyroid drugs for years as a means of lowering bodyfat. The thyroid gland controls the resting metabolic rate. Located in the neck, it works on a feedback mechanism and stops producing thyroid hormones when their blood levels optiYears ago, after several weeks on a nearly mize. There are two primary zero-carb diet to lose bodyfat, I abruptly hormones, thyroxine (T4) and stopped losing both weight and fat. I triiodothyronine (T3); the couldn’t figure out why. I knew that my diet numbers tell you how many was tight, and although I didn’t do any aeroiodine molecules the hormones bic exercise (few bodybuilders did in those days), I’d been have. T3 is four to five times more active than T4, which is losing considerable bodyfat prior to encountering the sudconsidered more of a pro-hormone. denly insurmountable diet plateau. The thyroid hormone cycle begins when the hypoLuckily for me, my next-door neighbor at the time was a thalamus secretes thyroid-releasing hormone. TRH travels world-renowned professional bodybuilder who in the near to the pituitary gland, where it stimulates the release of future would win several Mr. Olympia titles. I told him thyroid-stimulating hormone, which travels in the blood my problem, and he handed me an envelope containing to the thyroid gland and triggers the synthesis of (mainly) T4. At that point, enzymes activated by zinc and seleThyroid drugs are popular with nium convert T4 into T3 in bodybuilders for speeding the liver and elsewhere in fat loss and preventing diet the body. plateaus. Not taking in enough calories or eating fewer than 40 grams of carbohydrates daily leads to the production of an inactive form of thyroid hormone called reverse T3, which usually kicks in after a loss of a certain amount of bodyfat or muscle. If you eat too few calories, your body tries to protect itself from breakdown because the brain and central nervous system have started getting the glucose that fuels them from body tissue (mostly muscle) instead of the blood. The net effect is a decline in resting metabolic rate, popularly called a dieting plateau. As most bodybuilders drastically reduce calorie intake for fat-loss purposes, using thyroid drugs is a popular method of maximizing fat loss and preventing a plateau. The top three thyroid drugs are Cytomel (T3), Synthroid (T4) and Armour. Armour is derived 224 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Competitive bodybuilders often combine T3 drugs and clenbuterol to achieve bodyfat loss significant enough to produce the much sought-after thin-skinned, highly defined muscularity you see in today’s competitions.

Neveux \ Models: Brenda Kelly and Kat Myers

from pig thyroid and contains both T3 and T4. Most bodybuilders prefer Cytomel, as it acts the fastest. Synthroid takes about a week to interact with enzymes and convert into T3 in the body. If you were diagnosed with a low thyroid output, most doctors would prescribe Synthroid. Its slower conversion rate produces less chance of side effects, especially cardiovascular problems. Many people produce enough T4 but don’t convert it efficiently into the active T3. The frequent treatment is to give the patient both T4 and T3. Still, studies of patients with low thyroid function show that although the combination mimics the production of natural thyroid hormone, it doesn’t benefit them any more than giving them T4 alone. The syndrome is far more common in women than men, and up to 40 percent of women produce antibodies that destroy active thyroid before it can interact with cellular receptors. Blood tests for those women show normal thyroid function, as their bodies produce normal levels of T4. That makes Armour a good treatment for the problem. Among the side effects of thyroid-drug overdose (almost always involving T3) are elevated and/or irregular heart rate, congestive heart failure and muscle loss. That’s why the drugs are rarely used in isolation but are more often taken with other drugs, such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone and others. Using the anabolic drugs likely offsets loss of muscle caused by T3 drug use. In fact, thyroid hormone has synergy with other hormones. One example is insulinlike growth-factor 1. Indeed, without a sufficient level of thyroid hormone, IGF-1 simply won’t work. During the initial use of GH, a temporary suppression of thyroid-stimulating hormone also occurs, usually lasting a few weeks, that makes GH worthless. So bodybuilders also use T3 drugs to counter the effect. Thyroid even works in conjunction with anabolic steroids, increasing the anabolic effect under normal levels, though too much T3 blunts that. The usual method for taking Cytomel and similar T3 drugs is to start with one 25-microgram pill, then gradually increase the daily dose to a maximum of 100 micrograms. Women should use about half that dose. The body

Up to 40 percent of women produce antibodies that destroy active thyroid before it can interact with cellular receptors. detects the drug immediately and reduces thyroid output accordingly. The maximum dose is more than the body ever makes naturally, which means that if you use that dose, you’re looking at hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. On the other hand, smaller doses would just lead to a cessation of normal thyroid output without much boost in metabolism, unless you experience the reverse T3 shutdown effect. Several studies have shown that much smaller daily doses of T3—no more than one tablet, or 25 micrograms— will help you overcome dieting plateaus from too little calorie or carb intake. People with heart disease, however, just shouldn’t go there. You can probably get the same effect from such nutritional products as gugglesterone, olive leaf extract, 7-keto DHEA and phosphate supplements. For a while, several over-the-counter thyroid drugs were sold as thyroid pro-hormones. Among them were Triacana and T2. Triacana, a metabolite of T3, is often touted as a mild form of thyroid, but several reports involving bodybuilders who experienced adverse cardiovascular effects and suppression of thyroid function from using Triacana led to its being removed from the market. T2, a pro-hormone intermediary between T4 and T3, has generated potent fat-burning effects in animals but human evidence is scarce or nonexistent. One much-vaunted advantage of T2 was that it worked mainly in muscle and didn’t cause muscle loss. Even so, most forms of T2 disappeared from the market soon after Triacana did. One company is still selling a form of it. Competitive bodybuilders often combine T3 drugs and clenbuterol to achieve bodyfat loss significant enough to produce the much sought-after thin-skinned, highly defined muscularity you see in today’s competitions. What you don’t much hear is that it also involves large doses, which stimulate the heart and could result in serious cardiovascular complications. Several years ago a top pro bodybuilder called me in distress, complaining about extremely rapid pulse, \ SEPTEMBER 2007 225

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Jerry Brainum’s

Bodybuilding Pharmacology By-products of oxygen metabolism that are destructive throughout the body, free radicals are linked to most degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. sive sweating and an inability to relax or fall asleep. It turned out that he was taking an oral T3 drug and using a T3-based topical thyroid product, plus a large dose of clenbuterol on a day-on/day-off schedule. A local emergency room diagnosed thyroid storm, or excessive thyroid output, which could easily have resulted in cardiovascular collapse. Drug therapy blocked the effect of adrenal hormones on his heart and offset his elevated thyroid hormone level. He survived, though for other reasons he didn’t win his contest. Using T3 drugs will elevate the production of reactive oxygen species, usually called free radicals.1 By-products of oxygen metabolism that are destructive throughout the body, free radicals are linked to most degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Thyroid drugs raise

cant amounts of dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium. Selenium is absolutely essential to thyroid metabolism; it activates the enzymes that convert T4 into the more active T3. On the other hand, studies show that too much selenium slows down thyroid hormone synthesis. The same holds true for iodine. While two-thirds of thyroid hormone is composed of iodine, getting too much of it blunts thyroid hormone output. The other third of thyroid hormone is the amino acid tyrosine, which explains its presence in many supplements aimed at boosting thyroid function. In fact, however, tyrosine is not the limiting factor in thyroid synthesis, and taking large doses of it will do nothing to boost thyroid activity. Many bodybuilding photographers can attest to the common phenomenon of bodybuilders who appear ripped, devoid of any superfluous Selenium is absolutely bodyfat or water reessential to thyroid tention. When they metabolism, as it show up for a photo shoot as little as two activates the enzymes weeks after the conthat convert T4 thyroid test, they frequently hormone into the appear smooth and more active T3. bloated. What happened? One study provides a possible cause—besides pigging out on junk food after the show.2 The study, which involved rats and isolated cells exposed to large doses of T3, found that the gene expression of nearly every enzyme in the body known to produce bodyfat was rapidly upmeregulated. That didn’t happen with tabosmaller doses of T3, which seems to lism by have downregulated the same genes. upgradThe dose the rats received was about ing the the equivalent of the maximum dose production of uncoupling of T3 suggested to bodybuilders for proteins in the cellular mitochondria, fat-loss purposes. also the site of the greatest free-radiIt is reasonable to assume a similar cal havoc. Taking dinitrophenol, or scenario with humans. The rats in DNP, a toxic chemical often used for the study didn’t all react to the high fat loss, exacerbates the uncoupling T3 with excess fat gains, just as some effect. If you’re thinking about using humans might not. It could, however, thyroid drugs, be sure you get signifiexplain the sudden rush of bodyfat

and water retention after a contest. A female figure competitor a few years ago, who was rumored to have taken large doses of T3 to lose bodyfat, won her contest but ballooned up so much within two months afterward that she was unrecognizable. It ended her competitive career. In the works are experimental thyroid drugs that are far more selective toward bodyfat reduction. One, code named GC-1, doesn’t affect the heart or promote muscle loss, but it does promote bodyfat loss.3 It’s intended to distinguish between the two thyroid cellular receptors, TR-a and TR-b. Most side effects linked to thyroid drug use occur when the TR-a receptor is activated. The new drug selectively activates TR-b. Basically a tamed form of T3, it dramatically lowers blood cholesterol, helping convert excess cholesterol into bile, which is then excreted from the body. Primate studies show that GC-1 leads to a 4 percent drop in bodyweight—all fat, zero muscle—after only one week. It sounds great, but like other thyroid drugs, this new drug does suppress thyroid-stimulating hormone by 40 to 45 percent. In addition, it hasn’t been tested in humans, so its possible toxicity isn’t known. If the drug passes muster, it could prove the most effective and safest form of thyroid drug ever. Time will tell.

References 1 Duntas, L., et al. (2005). Oxidants, antioxidants in physical exercise and relation to thyroid function. Horm Metab Res. 37:572-576. 2 Zabrocka, I., et al. (2006). Pharmacological doses of triiodothyronine upregulate lipogenic enzyme gene expression in rat white adipose tissue. Horm Metab Res. 38:63-68. 3 Baxter, J.D., et al. (2004). Selective activation of thyroid hormone signaling pathways by GC-1: A new approach to controlling cholesterol and body weight. Trends in Endocrin Metab. 15:150-157. IM

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’96 Arnold Classic, 1st Place.

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Kevin Levrone The Process of Becoming



here are interviews… and then there are interviews that define what it means to be a journalist. Such was my experience with Kevin Levrone. We all know his story, or at least what’s been committed to paper: the Arnold Classic triumphs and spectacular Olympia showings, that crazy action-figure physique, his insatiable need for creative expression. Weider quickly signed him. Fans mobbed every contest and personal appearance. Magazines ran cover shots, training articles, photo spreads, profiles galore. Yes, indeed. As a competitive bodybuilder, Kevin seemed guided by preternatural force. At one point I approached the Maryland Muscle Machine, but Weider’s ironclad contract kept rival publications and writers at bay. Disappointed, I put aside notions of an exclusive and concentrated on other projects. Years fell away, and Kevin’s situation changed dramatically. Released from Weider, he’d moved to California for “Backlash,” an action-film assignment. It seemed like a match made in P.R. heaven. Late last year the impossible came to be. Good interviews can be tricky; they often rise or fall on whim. In the case of my interview with Mr. Levrone, something cosmic occurred: Light flooded a darkened room, and I began to understand this very complicated man. RL: You’ve done dozens of these gigs, I know—so let’s try

for a different spin. Feel like experimenting? KL: Yeah, I do, but we gotta be 100 percent honest. That’s the only way I can work nowadays—with honesty and heart. Everything out on the table. Just don’t ask me how much I can bench, okay? [Laughs] RL: You got it. Update us on Kevin Levrone’s life. What’s shakin’? KL: I’m evolving—in the process of becoming. Every morning I thank God for the new day—it’s another learning experience, another piece added to our human puzzle. RL: The process of becoming? Sounds labor intensive. KL: It is, and I probably won’t ever find out who I am. Who’s Kevin Levrone? He’s a mystery, a phantom. I’ve spent years ridding myself of excess baggage, peeling away layers to find the real Kevin. RL: How long have you been on this journey toward self? KL: Since childhood. I hated school and didn’t like people.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Levrone

by Rod Labbe

A lighter, lean Levrone has honed his physique for movie roles. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 231

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Arnold Classic 1996 1st Place.


“Anybody can be great. There are degrees, but you don’t have to be a world shaker. You can make a difference on a more intimate level—by being a good soul, doing what’s right, holding to your own code.”

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Kevin Levrone

Photo courtesy of Kevin Levrone


I wanted to be left alone. In solitude I could figure out things for myself. Sometimes I’d find answers—but behind them, there were always more questions. RL: The passing of your father proved a cataclysmic early event. KL: I was only seven years old when that happened. I’d gotten up for school, and my mother told me to run and find my uncle because daddy had a pain in his back. Thirty days later we lost him, and our lives changed forever. RL: An unexpected death can be surreal. Almost like a dream. KL: Surreal is a good word. I didn’t want anyone to see me cry. I couldn’t vocalize my pain. I withdrew, shut myself off. RL: Childhood experiences often dictate the kind of adult we become. Your loss produced a great champion, someone born from pain. KL: I’ve always had a burning desire for victory, understand what I’m saying? I couldn’t control the things around me, so I stopped wishing and crying and made things happen. RL: Were there lessons learned along the way? KL: A harsh one: Never depend on anyone to be there for you. “Kevin,” people would say, “you’ve got to grow up and take responsibility.” And I did, at a young age. Whatever I created was mine. No one else would snatch it away. That’s why I understood bodybuilding so well. RL: Because bodybuilding’s a solitary sport?

’95 Mr. Olympia, 2nd place.

KL: Not merely solitary but personal. Bodybuilding kept me going and going, and I turned it into a living. I created a character, a muscle guy, my twin—the other side of me. I never smiled much as a child. Even now, I don’t like to smile. I’m a closed, lonely individual. RL: Has life cheated you? KL: Not in the sense that everybody might think, because I lost my folks and had a hard time growing up. I absolutely like who I am today. Look at Benjamin Franklin. I’m not comparing myself to him or anything, but look at how he persevered. There was something inside of him, an innate greatness. RL: True, but is greatness born or made? KL: Anybody can be great. There are degrees, but you don’t have to

be a world shaker. You can make a difference on a more intimate level—by being a good soul, doing what’s right, holding to your own code. I was motivated by the death of my parents. It shook me up and brought out a greatness I didn’t realize existed. RL: When did your mother pass? KL: In 1989. She never saw her little boy succeed. RL: Is that why you began dabbling in vegetarianism? For survival? KL: For simple survival, yeah. When they died, I started watching what I ate. I hung out at the gym all the time. As a teenager, I’d say, “I’m goin’ to work,” but I’d lift instead. RL: Team sports weren’t your thing, either. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 233

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Kevin Levrone to bodybuilding magazines and explained training methods and proper nutrition. I paid attention very carefully and learned as much as I could. After much trial and error, I was doing things right. RL: Didn’t Arnold have a hand in all this? KL: Arnold will always be the man. “Conan” rocked. Bro, I sat in that movie theater and watched him kick ass and couldn’t believe my eyes. How could a human being be so massive? Yet, there he was, alive and breathing. Through Arnold’s example, I real-

ized there are no limitations, just insecurities. RL: Then along came the Mr. AAU Colossus, and you decided to test yourself. KL: Not as a bodybuilder though. I wanted to compete in the powerlifting com-

Photo courtesy of Kevin Levrone

KL: Team sports, like football? Nah. RL: What led you to the iron? KL: My brothers worked out, and I followed their lead. Never thought of bodybuilding or doing a contest or anything, but I became the strongest kid around. It was all about strength back then. RL: And size? Was that a primary goal too? KL: Well, I naturally got bigger as I weight-trained, but I had a wakeup call when my cousin came home from the Marine Corps. The guy was larger than life, a real mountain of muscle—6’4” and built like the Incredible Hulk. He introduced me

petition. RL: Which you won. KL: Yeah, 465 bench at 189 pounds, natural. Afterward, a buddy of mine said, “Why not try the bodybuilding show?” Huh? Bodybuilding? Didn’t have a clue, but since

“Through Arnold’s example, I realized there are no limitations, just insecurities.”


’97 Mr. Olympia, 4th place.

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Kevin Levrone I like challenges, I bought bikini underwear, shaved my body and jumped onstage. And I won that too. Everybody was like, Who is that guy? He came out of nowhere. RL: With dedication, you could wreak havoc. KL: Those first wins motivated me, no doubt about it. RL: Had you graduated from high school yet? KL: Nope. I trained between school and working construction.

RL: School and construction. Tough juggling act. KL: Here’s the funny part: After graduation I spent more time working out than working. I’d go to construction sites and see the builders in their fancy cars and think, “There’s gotta be something better than breakin’ my back.” Lolita [Kevin’s wife] was my girlfriend then, and I’d borrow her car and scrounge pennies to buy gas. She wanted me to get a job at the 7-Eleven, but no

way could I handle the public. I just wanted to lift. RL: She must’ve caught on eventually. KL: Once my checks stopped coming in. [Laughs] Every day I’d be at the gym from 6 or 7 a.m. until 11 at night, trudge home with work clothes on, stretch and say, “Gee, what a long day.” RL: Didn’t you start your own business? KL: I had to—being broke is a big

Kevin Levrone’s Contest History 1991 • NPC Junior Nationals, Heavyweight, 2nd • NPC Nationals, 1st Heavyweight and Overall

• IFBB San Jose Pro Invitational, 1st

’92 Night of Champions.

1994 • IFBB Arnold Classic, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix England, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix France, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix Italy, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Spain, 2nd • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 3rd • San Jose Pro Invitational, 1st

1999 • IFBB Arnold Classic, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix England, 3rd • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 4th • IFBB World Pro Championships, 3rd


2001 • IFBB Grand Prix England, 1st • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 3rd


2000 • IFBB Arnold Classic, 3rd • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 2nd

1995 • IFBB Grand Prix England, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Russia, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Spain, 1st • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 2nd 1996 ’95 Mr. Olympia. • IFBB Arnold Classic, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix England, 4th • IFBB Grand Prix Czech Republic, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 3rd • IFBB Grand Prix Russia, 5th • IFBB Grand Prix Spain, 4th • IFBB Grand Prix Switzerland, 3rd • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 3rd

1998 • IFBB Grand Prix Finland, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 2nd Mr. Olympia 1997 • IFBB Night of Champions, 2nd • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 4th • IFBB San Francisco Pro Invitational, 1st • IFBB Toronto Pro Invitational, 2nd

Arnold Classic 1999

2002 • IFBB Arnold Classic, 5th • IFBB Grand Prix Australia, 4th • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 2nd 2003 • IFBB Arnold Classic, 5th • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 6th • IFBB Show of Strength, 3rd

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1993 • IFBB Grand Prix England, 3rd • IFBB Grand Prix Finland, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix France, 5th • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Spain, 3rd • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 5th


1992 • IFBB Chicago Pro Invitational, 3rd • IFBB Grand Prix England, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 1st • IFBB Night of Champions, 1st • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 2nd


1997 • IFBB Arnold Classic, 8th • IFBB Grand Prix Czech Republic, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix England, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Finland, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Germany, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Hungary, 1st • IFBB Grand Prix Russia, 2nd • IFBB Grand Prix Spain, 1st • IFBB Mr. Olympia, 4th

Mr. Olympia 1999

Kevin Levrone incentive. I clocked some crazy time working for my uncle, bought a dump truck, and became an independent contractor. No more punching a card five to six days a week, and I could go to the gym whenever I felt like it. RL: You also gave up being a vegetarian. KL: Oh, dude, that’s no way to live. I chowed at Mickey Dee’s and still won the Maryland Championships. RL: What was driving you? A need for order? Or perfection in an imperfect world? KL: All that and more. I used bodybuilding to better myself on several levels, but I wanted solitude to figure out this existence in my mind and heart. If a mom smacks her kid across the face, it affects me. If people are nasty and hurtful, it affects me. As human beings, we should respect one another, care for one another. These are the important things. I’m seeking wisdom, a way to understand. If you’re open, it grows with experience. More than anything throughout my career, I wanted to learn and walk away a wiser man. RL: And have you? KL: Yes. I’ve learned; I’ve grown. And I’m still growing. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve possessed an instinctive urge for expanding my potential. I went after what I was feeling at age 12 and focused in on being the best. RL: Almost from the get-go, you were a lightning rod for controversy. KL: Man, every time I opened my mouth, it started a ruckus. [Laughs] Bottom line, I did my own thing and rejected conformity. Who cares what others think? Be ready to take responsibility for who you really are, as a pure human being. Stand up for yourself—my life philosophy, in the nutshell. RL: What about hype? It’s easy to believe and not always positive. KL: Hype, good or bad, is really designed to tear you down. Ignore it. Go with your gut feeling and operate from there. RL: The ’92 Olympia—were you going with your gut? 238 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Levrone

KL: Of course. I trained for three short months, not the usual eight, like most guys, and took second place on my first Olympia try. Why? Because I trusted this [pats stomach]. Hasn’t let me down yet. RL: Gut or no gut, you got hit with a near-disastrous setback in 1993. KL: Damn. Yeah. In February of ’93 I tore my pectoralis major and minor—ripped it off the bone. Had to wear a partial body cast, and my weight plummeted from 260 to 220. Forty pounds lost. Phew. Tires me out thinking about it. RL: How long were you laid up? KL: About five months, till June. And they told me, “We expect you to compete in the next Olympia.” With six weeks left to train. [Shakes head] Unreal. RL: The IFBB said that to you? KL: Flat out. Or else my contract would be affected. It was a way for me to see the sport’s political side. Not a healthy situation. I felt less than a man, bouncing at the end of somebody’s string. It was degrading as hell, but again, I had a responsibility, so I came back and placed a decent fifth. RL: Considering those injuries, I’m shocked you could even move, let alone train. KL: It’s a state of mind: If you think you’re beaten, you are. Remember, the stronger or faster man doesn’t always win. Stay determined and focused, never let anyone steal your dreams, and you’ll reach that finish line ahead of any challenger. RL: The ’94 Arnold Classic saw Kevin Levrone back on track. Did winning feel good? KL: My friend, winning always feels good. Did you know Arnold himself invited me to compete?

We spent some time talking. A fascinating person, charismatic and so sharp. All bodybuilders, including myself, owe him a huge debt of gratitude. RL: Now that your competitive career’s behind you, was it a satisfying ride? KL: The best. Nothing more can be said. I enjoyed myself 100 percent. RL: What’s your spin on today’s monstrous physiques? KL: Today’s bodybuilders are training hard and takin’ care of business. Even if the world doesn’t agree, they’re being true to themselves. RL: There’ll be a day when the Weider era will pass into history. Any reflections on their legacies? KL: Look, I can’t predict where this sport will be a year from now, let alone 10 years from now, but I’d like to see the dreams of Joe and Ben become realities. The Weider brothers are pioneers. When they’re gone, it’ll be a new ball game and not necessarily a better one. RL: Have you taken anything worthwhile from bodybuilding that applies to Kev Levrone? KL: One: the will to survive, no matter the emotional cost. At heart, I’m a bodybuilder; I’ve traveled that road, and it’s not for anyone else to understand. The sport has given me integrity. I like who I am right now, and if it weren’t for bodybuilding, I wouldn’t be in California. RL: Problem is, public perception pigeonholes you. To the public, a massive bodybuilder seems almost alien. KL: The average person doesn’t understand bodybuilding. They dismiss us as morons. How I think and feel and the boy who died when he was seven—none of that matters to them. Forget stereotyping. Let’s read about how Lee Labrada feels, how

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“From the tiniest speck to a gorgeous sunset. Life is an ever-growing process, ever renewing, meant to be enjoyed and savored, like a fine wine.”

’02 Mr. Olympia, 2nd place.

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Kevin Levrone feels on the inside, as human beings. Those are elements of a great interview. Without them, you have mediocrity. RL: Artistry is often born from pain. There’s never legitimate growth without struggle. KL: It goes back to what I said about greatness. When I started elementary school, I was isolated and afraid and would cry, and I mean every day. The principal’s office would call my sister Tammy, and she’d walk me to my class. I felt protected around her. Man, I’ll never forget this one teacher, a really scary lady, complete with black umbrella, hat and scarf. She’d yank kids hard by their ears, just to hear them yell. I was so sketched, I’d run home as soon as the last bell rang. RL: She ever pull your ear? KL: No, I escaped. But in the eighth grade, my teacher, Miss Jenkins, told me, “Levrone, you’ll never amount to anything unless you do your homework.” I said, “Know what, Miss Jenkins? Most self-made millionaires don’t even have a high school diploma. I’ll make it, without getting good grades in your class.” Well, she thought I had a sassy mouth. Wonder what she’d say now. I’m the CEO of a company and don’t have any formal training, but I’ve hired attorneys and put food on their table. In life, experience is always more valuable. RL: Think about it: You’re actually a classic American success story. You weren’t born to wealth or position, but the world still knows your name. KL: Damn, I love to hear you talk. [Laughs] Seriously, I understood my strengths at a young age and went on from there. RL: What role did determination play in defining Kevin Levrone’s bodybuilding career? KL: It underscored everything. Without determination—and pain—I’d still be working construction. RL: And being a straight

Photos courtesy of Kevin Levrone

Kevin Levrone

Kevin’s man-ofaction movie persona.

shooter, is that an outgrowth of pain? KL: For me it is. I choose my words carefully. There’s a lot for me to express, and I love doing it through words, poems, song lyrics. Posing too. RL: Now you’ve got your first film, “Backlash,” to use as another form of expression. KL: Acting is a whole new venue. By adding those experiences to a character, I can show what’s going on behind his eyes—inside, without explaining, without telling. An actor is the sum total of all he is: his highs, his lows and everything in between. RL: You’re melding the real Levrone with your on-screen character, essentially? KL: Hmm—yes. And I’m ready. Let me emphasize: Not only ready, but someone who’s harmonizing the duality of business and art with a successful appropriate unity. How’s that for a mouthful? [Laughs] RL: Heavy. What’s your role in “Backlash”? KL: Turk, a former military guy specializing in assassinations. There are other facets to him as well; he has this thing with God and women and a problem with the political side of things, the way our world is. RL: You dropped some weight for the part. KL: Had to. Turk’s lean and mean, and I like that look. It’s edgy. RL: And what’s this I hear about “Redline”? Another action picture? KL: “Redline” is my latest film,

and my second hitman. Think “Fast and the Furious”—billionaires who put high stakes on exotic-car racing. I started it two months after finishing “Backlash,” and we recently wrapped. RL: My spies tell me you had a few steamy scenes. KL: Very steamy. But they’ll probably be cut in order to keep the rating. When I’m in front of a camera, I gotta take off my clothes just to feel comfortable. [Laughs] Guess we can blame bodybuilding for that. RL: First Arnold shoots up the screen as an action star, and now Levrone’s in the house. What’s next? Comedy? Drama? A sci-fi/horror film? KL: Bro, all I can say is, stay tuned. RL: Speaking of tunes, you’re very much into making sweet music. KL: Music’s my passion, what keeps me going. I like Motown. Soft songs, love songs, passionate stuff. When I sing “Three Times a Lady,” I’m reminded of my mother. I feel the music. I started writing things down, and they became poems, then lyrics. When you’re hurting, music can be a real friend. RL: Dug your first album, “Mirage.” Aren’t you working on a second CD? KL: We are. Another labor-intensive project, moving slowly but surely. I don’t like placing time constraints on creativity. That’s a piece of advice I’d give anyone. Don’t wait for others to validate your worth. If you have something good enough, let everybody see it. Let it find you. I’m acting, and later on down the road, I’ll try directing and producing. And if I fail, so what? At least I’ll give it my best shot. We’re so used to conditioning and programming. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 241

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Kevin Levrone


’03 Mr. Olympia, 6th place.

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Believe in your own abilities, your own talents. RL: You’re older now. Have you reached a level of happiness? KL: No, I wouldn’t say happiness. Satisfaction, maybe. Yeah, I’m satisfied with life, at this point. I’m in a very good place. Happiness isn’t lasting; it passes through and then is gone. RL: But to be happy—isn’t that our ultimate goal? KL: Happiness is a word open to interpretation. I honestly like the feeling of sadness better. I’m not one who smiles a lot, and people say I’m an unhappy guy. Happy, to me, is being quiet, being alone, going through transitions of sad and finding a peace there. If I was smiling all the time, people would ask, What’s wrong with him? RL: And by finding peace, you feel and experience everything. KL: From the tiniest speck to a gorgeous sunset. Life is an evergrowing process, ever renewing, meant to be enjoyed and savored, like a fine wine. We’re created to feel, as long as we can adapt to our surroundings and environment. RL: Are you after truth and beauty? The whole enchilada? KL: Truth is hard to find. When you find truth in someone or something, cling to it and don’t let go. RL: One more question: Would you ever consider competing again? KL: Good question. And here’s my answer: no. Editor’s note: Check out Kevin Levrone’s Web site at IM

Eric Broser’s

If you find something on the Web that IM readers should know about, send the URL to Eric at

> The moment I first saw a photograph of this German giant, shortly after he turned pro via the World Championships, I said to myself, “Here lies the future.” In a sport that seems to have spawned two separate camps—the super freaks vs. the super shaped—I could see right away that Dennis Wolf was a true hybrid. He is massive, aesthetically pleasing and highly conditioned. And now that Dennis has placed third in the IFBB New York Pro and was victorious at the Keystone Classic, his first pro win, it looks as if Lonnie Teper and I have more in common than just our good looks. That’s right, I have a crystal ball of my own. While much of Dennis’ site is in German and there’s not much to look at just yet, I mention it because it’s something you should keep your eye on. There are already several awesome photographs in his gallery, which takes you from 2000 to 2007, as well as a few mind-blowing off-season shots. His improvements from year to year are astonishing, and he’s managed to add more size in all the right places while keeping his waist small, tight and shredded. Pictures from the New York Pro reveal a physique reminiscent of Lee Haney’s heyday but with far better legs and even wider shoulders. Trust me when I say that Dennis could very well be a future Mr. Olympia. I predict top-six this year (whaddaya say, L.T.?). If you’re interested in how he trains, there is a short section that shows his weekly schedule; however, he’s about to release a new training DVD called “The Beginning.” Now that Wolf is achieving real success in the IFBB pro ranks, I’m sure he’ll begin to expand what appears to be a relatively new site. He is definitely a major bodybuilding star on the rise. 244 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Okay, I admit it—I think Mary Lado is hot. She has this haunting girl-next-door beauty but at the same time is both extremely classy and unstoppably sexy. And those lips. Yes, readers, I believe I have a small crush, but I digress. Mary was born on September 16, 1978, in New Orleans and has been an athlete since the age of nine, participating in such sports as volleyball, basketball, track, soccer and softball. In fact, she earned an athletic scholarship to Chipola Junior College in Florida to play fast-pitch softball and also obtained an associate of arts in physical education. Hmm, smart, athletic, sexy—will you marry me, Mary (focus, Eric, focus)? Later she moved on to finish her studies at Georgia Southwestern State University, completing her bachelor’s in sociology. She had always admired the look of toned athletes and became hooked on the idea of competing in 2002, when she saw her first figure contest. After just two years of hard training she won her pro card at the NPC National Figure Championships and debuted on the IFBB stage in 2005 at the Figure International, where she placed an impressive third. Amazingly, she followed that with victories at both the Pittsburgh and the California pro shows and then took a hard-fought fifth at the Ms. Olympia. Needless to say, Mary’s first year as a pro was an auspicious one. After making some adjustments in her diet and training regimen, she won the Figure International in 2006 and successfully defended her title this year. She certainly must now be considered a serious threat for this year’s Olympia title. Mary’s site is rather basic, offering viewers a short biography, contest history, a few sexy pics and a store that sells a couple of her photos. If you want to shell out a few bucks, however, you can join Mary’s fan club, which will give you access to her personal portfolio, where you can see photographs unavailable anywhere else. That in and of itself is reason enough to pull out your credit card. Additionally, as a site member, you can contact her personally, view a special Q&A section and receive tips and advice from the beauty herself. Now, where did I put my Visa card?

> The Internet is full of bodybuilding discussion boards, but how many of you realize that IRON MAN, your monthly training bible, has a pretty cool little board of its own? Well, it does, and it’s a nifty place to hang out and talk bodybuilding, fitness, figure and more. Regular posts come from nutrition and supplement guru Jerry Brainum and competition-emcee extraordinaire Lonnie Teper. There’s a ton of news and gossip, as well a fun “guess who” photo section. It’s new, so it’s not as active as some of the larger boards out there, but there are some very knowledgeable members, and industry insiders discuss unique topics. I’m a member myself (user name: Eric P/RR/S Broser) and would love to see more readers log in and participate in the forums. So when you get a minute, please register and join the fun. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 245

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Results Q&A

The Power/Rep Range/Shock innovator answers your questions on training and nutrition.

Model: Omar Deckard

Q: I’m looking to build thick triceps, and I know basics are the key. My training partner loves close-grip bench presses, but I have trouble feeling them, even though I use good form and push pretty decent weight. Is there a trick to the exercise? I want to be a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter.

A: I believe that you should follow basic form cues for each exercise in order to get the most musclebuilding benefit. For instance, when training back, it’s important to get a full stretch; then, as you contract, you slightly arch your lower back, stick out your chest and squeeze your scapulae together. When doing most chest exercises, you better recruit the pectorals by keeping your shoulders rolled down and back and your rib cage held high throughout the set. But sometimes, even when these “rules” are followed, a trainee still has trouble feeling an exercise. That’s when experience and self-awareness come into play. Because each of us has a somewhat unique structure, muscle attachments and flexibility, we must find nuances for each exercise—beyond just basic proper form—that will enable us to target the muscle we’re going after. For example, you may see two guys with incredible shoulder development who perform the same exercises—in almost totally different manners. That’s because over time they have experimented with slightly different positions, angles, grips and so forth until they were getting exactly what they wanted out of each movement. And that’s what you must do as well. That said, I think I can throw a good tip your way that helped me turn close-grip bench presses from a decent triceps exercise into my absolute favorite exercise for arms. When most people perform the movement, they press and lower the weight in a straight line up and down. I’ve found that I get far more triceps recruitment when I press the weight slightly away from me rather than straight up. In fact, I perform this exercise almost exclusively on a Smith machine, so that I can push away aggressively without fear of losing control of the bar. That small change in the exercise makes it feel completely different for me and for most people I train.

In addition, make sure you keep your elbows in, close to your torso, during each rep. That will force the triceps to do more work than if you let your elbows flare out to the sides (which would shift emphasis to the chest). Finally, you may want to try the exercise on a Smith machine with the safeties set so that you can perform only the top two-thirds. Start each repetition from a dead stop on the safeties and focus on exploding to the top with pure triceps power. I guarantee you will brutalize your tri’s this way. Enjoy the pain—and the tight sleeves! Q: Any quick nutrition secrets, aside from the ordinary recommendations, for putting on some new muscle? A: A few quick secrets, huh? Okay, I’m game. Here are a few things you can do to boost your muscle growth without getting too fancy. • During every workout sip a drink containing five to 10 grams of all the essential amino acids, glutamine and about 30 to 40 grams of simple carbs, like dextrose or waxy maize starch. • After every workout drink a shake of whey isolate and dextrose in a 1-to-2 gram ratio (for example, 40 grams whey to 80 grams dextrose). One hour later drink another shake made of casein, egg white and whey isolate, and eat a complex carb like oatmeal (this time in a 1-to-1 gram ratio). • Wake up in the middle of the night (every night) and drink a protein shake of casein, egg white, whey protein and flaxseed oil. It should contain 30 to 50 grams of protein and five to 10 grams of fat. • Take in five grams of branched-chain amino acids and glutamine about an hour before every meal of the day. • One day per week try doubling your daily protein intake. The following week pick one day to double your normal carb intake. Switch back and forth from week to week. Now, don’t get mad at me when you need a new wardrobe. IM

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Neveux \ Model: Joe DeAngelis

Eric Broser’s

Lonnie Teper’s

NEWS & ViEWS Dennis Wolf.

Midseason IFBB Contest Thoughts

Greener Pastures

Branch Warren.

Roland Balik

Darrem Charles.

Silvio Samuel.

David Henry.

Ronnie Rockel.

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Colorado Pro photography by Isaac Hinds \

So, what did the midseason pro shows bring us? An upset win in New York, a big, bad Wolf in Pennsylvania and Greener pastures in Colorado. What they didn’t bring, though, was a top-six Mr. Olympia threat—at least not for this season’s showdown, which is scheduled for the last weekend in September in Las Vegas. More on that later. Branch Warren, who was pretty much forgotten as a title threat after he ended the 2006 season with a thud at the Olympia and opened 2007 with a seventh-place landing at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, surprised many with a victory at the New York Pro. It put him back in the category of contender—until the next two contests put him back where he started (see below). Dennis Wolf, a guy I felt was really overlooked at last year’s Europa, where he finished seventh, opened the new season on a powerful note, nabbing third in New York and then moving up, into the winner’s circle two weeks later at the Keystone Classic in Pennsylvania. Warren dropped to fourth in that one. Then, there was oh, my, Kai, as in Kai Greene. The flashy two-time Team Universe champ, who didn’t even make the cut at the ’06 IRON MAN Pro, brought a vastly improved version of his physique to 2007 and promptly turned into the top contender for Comeback Bodybuilder of the Year honors with a highly disputed sixth-place finish in New York, a thirdplace landing at the Keystone and, finally, his first win on the pro circuit at the Shawn Ray Colorado Pro a week later. And in addition to the 25 grand handed out in Denver, Greene picked up another 5K for winning Best Presentation honors. On the downside, Warren slid all the way back to seventh in Colorado, completely losing the steam he’d picked up with the win in New York. Word has it Branch will sit out the Olympia—a good move. He should rest, recoup and begin his 2008 redemption campaign at the IRON MAN Pro. I wasn’t in Colorado, but Isaac Hinds, on hand to cover the event for this magazine and, said Greene was the clear winner. Which is what it looked like to me when I viewed the photos. Which is why I was very confused by commentators on another contest site who didn’t even have him in the top three after the prejudging. “Greene definitely deserved to win,” said Hinds. “He was in great condition and presented himself very well.” Isaac did, however, have some questions about some of the other top-five placings (Darrem Charles in second, Silvio Samuel in third, Ronny Rockel in fourth and David Henry in fifth). “I would have had Rockel second,” Hinds said. “I’d say Silvio was a deserving third; I would have had Charles in fourth and agree that Henry should have placed fifth.” Will any of the above-mentioned guys make a dent in the top six at the Olympia? I say no. Unless they displace my picks for top seven (in no particular order at this point): Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez, Toney Freeman, Melvin Anthony

Roland Balik

Will these guys make a dent in the Mr. O rankings?

BEER BELLY Could these possibly be L.T.’s abs? Page 250

CONTEST PREP Check your oil, Ma’am? Page 252

PRIEST UNFROCKED Has Lee’s suspension left him exhausted? Page 253

Kai Greene. and Gustavo Badell. And that’s leaving out Phil Heath, who might be passing on the show for the second year in a row in hopes of making ’08 his real breakout year.



ADD HINDS—It wasn’t an easy task getting Isaac to talk about the Denver show. He had been down—way down—after three off-base predictions forced me to reconsider using him in future installments of “The Experts.” It started back in March, when Hinds, joining yours truly and Ron “Yogi” Avidan in the Arnold Classic predictions, tabbed Phil Heath to win it all in his A.C. debut. As we know, the Gift landed in fifth at that show. Vowing to rebound and regain his authority status, Isaac went with rookie Desmond Miller to win in New York. As we know, Miller finished fourth. Hinds went with Darrem Charles to win the Keystone; as we know, Charles finished out of the money, in sixth. Denver was going to be Hinds’ saving grace. That’s where LiftStudio resides, so what better place to show he still belongs among the game’s elite prognosticators. Sadly, though, he suffered another defeat. He went with Dennis James for that one, but Dennis fell all the way to eighth. Isaac felt disgraced. Especially after I picked Kai Greene on the forum to win the show. At least I did in one of my three forecasts. After much thought I’ve given Isaac a chance to redeem himself. I didn’t have much choice; I was already considering Yogi for the chopping block because he picked Darrem to win in New York when Darrem had never said he was competing there. So Hinds will again be onboard when “The Experts” make their USA predictions in July. In mid-June the poor guy was headed for his optometrist’s office to get new glasses. “Maybe it will help me with my picks,” he said. How could anyone unload someone Shawn L.T. queries Isaac about his who’s that humble? Ray and not-so-expert predictions.


NPC Events

Stars of the Lone Star (clockwise from left): Beni Lopez, Max Fairchild, Maria Davis and Stephanie Irick.

MAD MAX BEYOND LONE STAR—After being forced to miss my annual gig as emcee of Prince Harrison’s Lone Star Classic in 2006 because the Junior Cal was on the same day, I headed back to the podium in Plano the first weekend in June for the ’07 edition. About 140 competitors hit the stage at the Plano Convention Center, with the usual number of outstanding physiques walking away with top honors. Kudos to Mad Max Fairchild, a 6’, 220-pounder out of Dallas who took the heavyweight and overall crowns. Fairchild, who trains at Energy Fitness in Dallas, has a lot of potential and will cause some damage at higher-level contests when he adds another 10 to 15 pounds of muscle to his frame. Maria “Salsa” Davis, who I met at the Ronnie Coleman Classic six weeks earlier, took the lightweight and overall titles in women’s bodybuilding. Stephanie Irick, a cute-as-a-bug 5’2”, 110-pounder from Pilot Point, was sharp at the wheel with her victory in fitness and her third-place showing in an extremely strong division A in figure. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 249

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ADD LONE STAR—With Texas State Chairman Lee Thompson in Denver to judge the Colorado Pro, Vice-Chairs Cecil Ballard and Hans Somez did a good job of running the judges’ table. Judge Prince Fontenot proudly showed off the poster for his June 30 event in San Antonio between scoring rounds, and Tony Douglas took some time off from making decisions about who’s first, who’s not with a visit to his favorite toy pinscher, Katie Munroe, who was at her usual post with mommy June at the Flexstar booth.

Tony Douglas, June Munroe and Katie, and Harli Bruno.

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Mike George

Photography by Lonnie Teper

The winner of the A class, Beni Lopez, beat Brandi Akers in a tiebreaker and went on to capture the overall. The 39-year-old Lopez has quite a story. A former bodybuilder, she was married at 15 and has three children, 23, 13 and 12. The 4’11” Beni was coming off a 16th-place landing at the ’05 Junior Nationals, which is quite a leap. After the show at Texas Land and Cattle, the scene of the postcontest eat down, I, uh, coerced Lopez into donning her two-piece one more time and included Mark Dugdale in the shot. I tried to get Mark to at least take off the shirt, but it was no go. Mark’s wife, Christina, and Mattie, the oldest of the three Dugdale daughters, were nice enough to go along with the creative photo-op. Akers is another one to keep an eye on. Okay, her boyfriend, Quincy Taylor, ain’t no oil painting, Quincy Taylor. but Brandi is a looker. She just needs to tone down her lower body, and she should be on her way. In case you don’t know, I’m Quincy’s former teacher, and Mark as he says, “You’re old, so I Dugcan’t choke you,” so I can get dale away with such comments with (about his lack of beauty). Beni Seriously, Quincy was carrying Lopez. 345 pounds and was looking very good for that size about With Brandi Akers. With Christina and Mattie. 10 weeks out from the Europa. He looked terrific at the Ed and Betty Pariso–produced show last year—finishing second to Toney Freeman—and if he can come in that condition but a bit fuller, the Europa is his in ’07, I say. Another highlight of the Lone Star was getting to see, up close and personal, Dave Goodin actually compete instead of just looking at his pictures in IRON MAN. Dave had a copy of the August Hans Somez and issue with him, and we had people making guesses prior to the Dave Jacobs. contest as to who owned the shredded abs that were featured on the cover. For those who selected me, I thank you—and I’ll pass along the number of Isaac’s eye doctor as soon as possible. Yup, it was the Texas Shredder himself who supplied the sixpack. Dave was Good-in the contest too, winning the masters 40-plus and the middleweight class in L.T. the open competition. and the Dugdale, two weeks away from beginning his Texas Mr. O prep, guest-posed along with Chad Ray ShredMartin, who was two weeks out from the Junior der. Cecil and Nationals. Chad, who was featured recently in this Samantha magazine, looked really good and should have a Ballard. great shot of winning his class in Chicago. A dance group, led by Downtown Sheila Brown Bob and Laura and featuring pro bodybuilding ace Kim Perez, also Johnson. performed. When Sheila saw some of my moves at the podium, she invited me to join the group. After some serious thought, I had to turn her down—keeping Hinds and Avidan in tow is more than enough work.

Photo courtesy of Debi Lee Stern

Debi and Ray.

Amy Peters, coming off a sixth-place finish at the Pittsburgh Pro Figure a month earlier, was also in the house. The Johnson Team—Bob, Laura and Josh—displayed the latest issue of their magazine Posedown, which covers the physique industry and features local athletes. Hardworking, passionate folks, these Texans.

MORE LONE STAR—It was great seeing Debi Lee Stern, who was holding up the best she could after the unexpected death of her husband about three months back (see Gene Mozée’s tribute to Ray Stern in the August issue). Debi and I had a long talk, and she discussed the events that led to Ray’s passing. It’s a long story, obviously, but, briefly, he went in for heart bypass surgery in January after a diagnosis of two blocked arteries. Five days after the surgery Debi noticed Ray was not well, and he was taken back to the hospital. Everything seemed okay, but his condition was rapidly deteriorating. After miraculously surviving the night, Ray was diagnosed with a staph infection and sepsis, a deadly blood infection that destroys vital organs. “Ray was so strong that he seemed to have gotten through that and was improving each day,” said Debi. “Then another crash, where the infection would build up, and again he was near death.” That went on five times, she said. The up-anddown battle continued for five weeks. “He was hooked up to all of these machines,” Debi related, tearing up with each word. “He had told me in the past that if he was ever unable to live life fully or was dependent on machines for life, he would rather leave this earth. “I called his closest friends, and each one went in to see Ray for the last time. He told them that he loved them all and said, ‘Now, I want you to get back to work and move on.’ They left and I stayed with Ray. He said, ‘This is my big day…it’s show time. And I want you to go. I love you dearly.’ About 48 hours after they unplugged the machines, Ray died in my arms peacefully.” Debi made special mention of Jim Lorimer, saying the Arnold Sports Festival promoter had phoned every Cal champs shine. Top single night checking on Ray’s progress. row: Jim Juge and “Jim was a great source of strength for Pete Ciccone. Middle me during these tough times,” Debi said. row: Kevin Reeves, “I thank him for helping me through all front and back, and Rene Chavez. Below: of this.” Keisuke Yoshida, Debi, 45, is in great shape and has Lorenzo Reynaga and taken up cycling. She’s putting in 50Noel Frias. mile practice sessions in preparation for a 60-mile ride in the near future. “Ray would be thrilled, as he followed Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France,” she said. ”My new path and life revolve around the bike! I know Ray is smiling…approving of my choices.” Merv

David Macias

David Macias



Debi Lee Stern.

Superman Rocks the Cal




A week before the Lone Star, Superman flew in to Culver City and soared out with the heavyweight and overall crowns. Now, I know Kevin Reeves’ buds refer to him as “Swole,” but I’m officially changing the \ SEPTEMBER 2007 251

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Lewis and friend.

Ron Avidan

Ron Avidan

ADD CAL—After the prejudging I ran into Dennis ”No Pain, No Gain” Newman, who told me he’s going through a divorce, has moved back home to Salinas, California, and said his personal-training business is going great. Newman, 37, also said he has no plans of returning to the stage. Bob Cicherillo Then I saw P.D. Devers, who and Milos said he’s going to compete at the Sarcev. USA—but not before helping figure competitor Maria Rogers, ah, get her oil on just right, especially in the pec region. Flex Lewis and his new lady were in the house as well and said they are relocating to Reno, Nevada. Bob Cicherillo and Milos Sarcev were heavy into conversation; I don’t know if they were continuing their argument about the true story surrounding Silvio Samuel’s leaving the Sarcev camp or laying out their plan of attack regarding Milos’ one-year suspension from the IFBB, effective December 8, 2006. Apparently, Milos wasn’t exactly thrilled with a couple of placings at the ’06 Asian Games, held in Doha, Qatar, on December 8 and 9. Milos was on the Robert Hatch and Jerome scene as a coach of Malaysian athletes Sazali Abd Ferguson. Samad, and Tiaw Leong, who finished second and fourth, respectively, and he let his feelings be known about their placings. In various interviews, according to an official press release from the IFBB Professional League dated May 29, 2007, 252 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Shawn Ray and Richard Hatch.

Ron Avidan

moniker to Superman, in honor of the late, great George Reeves, who kept many of us riveted to the tube as the Man of Steel did his thing on our black-and-white televisions. Hell, a lot of people call me Swole too, but I think it’s meant in a different vein. As in not having any. Anyway, back to the modern-day Reeves. I was very impressed with Kevin when I first saw him win the heavyweight class at the ’05 Cal; I thought he was vastly overlooked when he followed that up with a 10th-place finish at the USA two months later. A 36-year-old out of Riverside, California, Reeves does not lack for aesthetics—or confidence. “I see where you are picking A.D. Cherry to win the USA,” the 5’10”, 225-pounder said in June. “Well, I can see how he is one of the favorites, because he has a small waist, just like I do. But I have more muscle. I have the best back in the NPC—I have the best physique in the NPC! I have size, Dennis Newman. shape and symmetry, like Melvin Anthony, Flex Wheeler and Troy Alves. I plan on winning the show.” So throw Mr. Reeves into the mix of those who will battle for a pro card, folks. How can both the Swami and Superman be wrong? Robert Hatch and Jerome Ferguson, who were both interested spectators at the Cal, think we are, for sure, so this will be very interesting. Congrats to the other winners at the Memorial Day–weekend event: superheavyweight champ Jim Juge, who also took the 40-plus class, light-heavyweight winner Pistol Pete Ciccone, middleweight titlist Lorenzo Reynaga, welterweight champion Keisuke “I Do Every Show Except the Junior Cal” Yoshida, lightweight winner Rene Chavez and bantamweight front man Noel Frias. Check out Ruthless Ruth’s Pump and Circumstance column for more doings on the Jon Lindsay production. P.D. Devers and Late-breaking news: For 2008 the California Championships will be Maria Rogers. growing grander than ever. Lindsay says he’ll be opening the competiFlex tion to any United States resident.

Milos stated that he felt top official Paul Chua had fixed the placings and that Walter van den Branden of the Netherlands had received money to “manipulate” the results. The release went on to say that Sarcev had no factual evidence to support his case, that he refused to withdraw his statements and would not apologize to Chua or van den Branden. Under Pro Rule 9.3 (Suspension Conditions), while under suspension, Sarcev cannot compete, give exhibitions or seminars, judge, officiate or otherwise participate in an official capacity Top Internet retailers: Ryan, Russ and Jeremy DeLuca of at any IFBB Pro League competition. Shawn Ray told me that Bob, in his role as the athletes’ rep, was looking into defending Milos on the matter. Now, that is a strange twist of fate—if true—considering the recent battles Shawn and Bob had with Milos over what I’ll just refer to as the Samuel rule. Enough has been written on the subject on the Internet boards and magazines already, so I won’t rehash it, but stay tuned for future developments. Isaac Hinds \

Mo Monsen.


Kris Dim.

TEPER’S TALES: In an interview given on “Pro Bodybuilding Weekly” on June 12, Lee Priest told hosts Dan Solomon and Bob Cicherillo he would like to return to the IFBB. Priest, who turned 35 in July, said he hoped to get a special invite to compete at the Mr. Olympia, but if he didn’t, he would try and requalify at the Atlantic City Pro on September 15. Interestingly enough, that contest takes place one day Lee Priest. prior to the end of Lee’s one-year suspension. So, fans, what should the IFBB do in this situation? Thumbs-up or thumb-down? I think I already know your answer.… More bad-health news for bodybuilding; according to reports posted at and discussed on “Pro Bodybuilding Weekly,” Kris Dim suffered what appeared to be an aortic dissection (the same thing that killed actor John Ritter) at his training studio in Northern California. If the reports are accurate, Dim underwent open-heart surgery and suffered multiple strokes during the procedure and at one point was only given a 10 percent chance of surviving. But Dim is a fighter and appeared to be on the road to recovery a few days later.… More honors for The Boise, Idaho–based company was ranked 152 overall and number six in the Health and Beauty category of Internet Retailer’s recently released 2007 Top 500 Guide. It was the number-one sports nutrition site. In 2006 was ranked 163 overall.… Richard Vince Galanti. Jones, once hailed as “the next Shawn Ray,” apparently does have things in common with Sugar Shawn. Rumors abound on the Internet that Jones has officially retired from competition. But, Magic, I won’t hold you to it.… Forty-year-old Vinnie Galanti was looking good in recent pictures, and I say he To contact Lonnie Mr. O photohas a great shot at winning his pro card op. Jay CutTeper about material at the Masters Nationals in July. I also like ler greets possibly pertinent to Mo “Dream Tan” Monsen’s chances; Jon B. Celis, News & Views, write the guy hasn’t competed since 1992 but winner of a to 1613 Chelsea natty comlooked great at the Cal, eight weeks out Road, #266, San petition in from the event. And don’t ever discount Marino, CA 91108; Long Beach, Mike Horn in any discussion of that fax to (626) 289-7949; California, competition. IM or send e-mail to at a Max Muscle store event in Orange County in May. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 253

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MUSCLE BEACH 2007 MEMORIAL DAY BASH Photography by Jerry Fredrick and Merv



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1) IFBB pro Emery Miller presents the Tuff Stuff posing award to overall winner Carl Mathews. 2) Mark Grant (far left) and Brigadier General Ellen Pawlikowski (third from left) with U.S. Marine and Army representatives. 3) Joe Wheatley and John Balik induct Tony Pearson into the Muscle Beach Venice Hall of Fame. 4) The parade of athletes. 5) A C-17 Globemaster flyover—from March Air Force Base. 6) Teen competitors Christopher Barajas, Greg Ferrer and Dan Corder. 7) Toney Freeman representing HeadBlade. 8) Chris Lacascia and Timea Majorova. 9) Two beefy dudes in sunglasses mug it up. 10) Dennis Quaid and Richard Gere—um, rather IRON MAN’s Mark Missioreck and Bodybuilding .com’s Russ DeLuca. 11) Roland Kickinger, Major Ken Goode, Kent Keuhn, Tony Pearson and Dennis Tinerino. 12) Erin Lutz, overall figure winner, and Mathews. 13) Wheatley and Balik—proud of the show. 14) A beauty in the audience (there were lots!). 15) Emanuel Delcour—capes are in this year! 16) Gunter Schlierkamp greets an enthusiastic competitor. 17) Rado Pagac’s flying V. 18) Wheatley and Cheryl Stoneham. 19) Gary Strydom looking large. 20) Jackie Wager hits a pretty pose. 21) The Marine booth—give me 20!





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IronMan Hardbody

Shocker Mom Gina Ostarly’s Physique Electrifies—at 40 and With Three Children! Photography by Michael Neveux Hair and makeup by Alexandra Almand

Height: 5’4” Age: 40 Weight: 125 off-season; 118 contest Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana Current residence: South Florida Occupation: Gym owner, personal trainer, fitness and swimsuit model, makeup artist Marital status: Married (to Walt Ostarly for 21 years) Workout schedule: “I try to be flexible with my workout schedule. I train five days a week, a different bodypart at each workout, and I change exercises often.” Sample bodypart workout (abs): Hanging knee raises, 3 x 30; flutter kicks, 3 x one minute; weighted crunches, 3 x 30; seated medicine ball twists, 3 x 20 Favorite foods: Healthful, chicken and sweet potatoes. Less healthful, Krispy Kreme doughnuts Factoid: Mother of three children, ages 20, 18 and 15, and just started taking saxophone lessons Web site: \ SEPTEMBER 2007 257

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Getting You Up to Speed

As the steamy summer of figure continues

There have been hunt for an Olympia three IFBB pro figure qualification. competitions since The results showed the last installment exactly that: Adcock of this column—in earned the biggest check Southern California, with a perfect score, Denver and Westwhile just four points chester County, New separated runner-up York—bringing the Cooke and ’06 USA class potential Figure O winner Felicia Romalineup up to 22 and no, who snagged the last counting. Good thing Olympia-qualifying slot in the Orleans Arena her pro debut. has a b-i-i-g stage. It was one of those First up, the Cal: contests where the judgThe California Pro es line them up in the first Figure Championship, callout exactly as they’re held in conjunction going to place them. So with the NPC Califorit was hardly a surprise nia Bodybuilding and when Cheri Lewis and Figure ChampionChastity Sloan, also ships, filled its regular Camaraderie at the Cal (from left): Kristi Tauti, Sonia Adcock, Mary Jo just a few points apart, Cooke, Kristin Gomes and Felicia Romano await their fate before the slot in the schedule rounded out the top five. finals. on May 26, the SaturEven so, that don’t get day before Memorial you money or a ticket to Day, with the action going down at the Veterans Memorial the O in the rough old game of figure, at least at this competiAuditorium in Culver City. It didn’t take a crystal ball to figure tion, which suggests that we’ll be hearing more from Cheri that Sonia Adcock, fresh off her victory at the Pittsburgh and Chas as the fig seas (read: figure season) rolls along. three weeks earlier, would pick up an easy win. Or that Mary For complete results and photos from the NPC and IFBB Jo Cooke, based on previous showings, would be in the California events, go to


Mile-High Honeys

Isaac Hinds \

Val rakes in the Rocky Mountain love A week after the Southern California figure fest discussed in the item above, 24 pairs of clear-plastic ultra-high-heel slides slid across the stage of the Colorado Convention Center at the Shawn Ray Colorado Pro. It was another unanimous win—this time for Valerie Waugaman, the defending champ, who had an easier time of it than she did at the ’06 Colorado, where her one-point margin over Jenny Lynn set tongues a’waggin’. Second place for the second week running went to a consistent Mary Jo Cooke. Third went to Britain’s Nicole Pitcher-Scott, who gets my award for the most improved bodybuilder of the spring shows. Her photos in the Colorado Pro gallery at indicate that the physique I saw in Pittsburgh a month earlier was merely a work in progress. The close-but-no-cigar slots went to Elisha Archibold, fourth, and Felicia Romero, fifth. Waugaman heats up the stage in Denver. If all goes as planned, she’ll marry longtime sweetie Sam Eells on August 18. 272 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Photography by Ruth Silverman

Reporter’s Notebook

Energy Cycle

With 21 competitors, the Cal Pro Figure was a little more manageable than last year’s lineup of 30 women strong. I arrived at the venue for the finals with plenty of time to hang out and take a few pictures. Thanks to the Pittsburgh show, which I’d covered three weeks earlier, I was becoming more familiar st, mu I st, mu I If Makeup shot? with the many s. rri says Leslie Mo Old school women who were . Dela Lian Physique vets Dina Valle making their debuts at the late-spring ka a (left) an es al W . ie ok d Milamar ro Sa rc nt ia ev figure st Rad contests. Backstage at the Veterans even more names they have nors for be each othe n’t se kes top ho ta r fo . r gy al most 10 ye en and faces to be put together would be waiting—not waitener ars. backstage ing for me, mind you, but for their turn to go onstage. another realization Now, the Cal is a big show, what with all the amateur hit me. Though it had not been that long since my divisions, and the ladies have a long wait till their first entrance. friend traded the world of rock-hard physiques for a world of Promoter Jon Lindsay puts aside a separate dressing room rocks, probably not one of those newbies had been around for the pros—a nice improvement over the backstage situlong enough to have been in one of her ation at other such events, especially for someone photo shoots. Now, that’s fast turnover. who’s trying to get to know everyone, but it’s not a Before I could ruminate further, all huge area. I arrived about a quarter way into the laeyes turned toward the door, where Mr. dies’ long wait and found a dozen or so lying around Lindsay was strolling in. A sigh of relief in sweats who were at least a half hour from even from me. New energy in the room. thinking about pumping up. Except for the occasional More competitors arrived, including eye glancing at the monitor, where a close-circuit feed some familiar faces, and the vibe from the stage indicated that the Masters Over 60 guys were being introduced, nothing in that room was moving as I picked my way among the bodies looking for somewhere to sit down. “Hey, Ruth,” someone called, and, r exZhana Rota ues suddenly, a dozen or so pairs of eyes tols the virt . of Bikini Bite riveted in my direction. The immediate gh she’s ou Th rush of panic (“Is my hair really that bad?”) a headed for gave way to epiphany—new energy in mid-top-10 a the room—which gave way to momentary finish, Zhan ris not discou panic. What to do next? It was clearly too r aged. “Afte early for cute dressing room shots. placing 18th el Snagging a spot next to where Rosalast year, I fe great.” Maria Romero began to build. Backstage P.S. had set up, I started to sit, Sweats started when another voice called out, coming come “Cool bracelet!” off and makeup Cool indeed. So I told them checks abounded. about the bracelet, with its Out came the numerous gemstone beads, camera. It was that was made by my friend time for me and who used to run the cremy bracelet to go The bracelet: precious topaz, garnets, rubies, onyx and ative department at another to work. amethysts on silver. Original bodybuilding magazine. As I design by Lori Sandler, spelled out the Web address, Hands on. Masae Tagami smooths out her tan. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 273

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Return of a Classic

Beautiful bod to keep your eye on

Isaac Hinds \

Three weeks after the model-pose down in Colorado a familiar name made its reentry to the IFBB schedule. The Jan Tana Classic, a longtime stop on the tour staged in various cities south of the MasonDixon line, mysteriously disappeared after the ’03 season (well, maybe not so mysteriously). On June 23 it was back with a bang in a new location up north, in Westchester County, New York, where the skin-careStephanie Kessler goes wild on learning she products queen produced won the heavyweights—and a ticket to the O—in her comeback Classics in her pro debut. Queen Jan (left) brought back the women’s pro bodybuilding show after four years. and figure in conjunction with an NPC show promoted by bodybuilder King Kamali. Both pro contests attracted small lineups—14 in the figure show and only 10 female flexers. Talk about your mysteries. The figure bottom line was perhaps easier to understand: With the New York Pro going down in Manhattan less than a month later, ladies in a New York state of mind had multiple opportunities to get onstage. Regarding the bodybuilders, however, one has to wonder, What were they thinking? With only four open contests all season, you’d imagine that at least the East Coast–based flexers would have flocked to the Classic. They must all be waiting for Betty Pariso’s bread pudding at the Europa on August 10 in Texas.

Based on her photos from the ’06 Cal and Europa competitions, where Ines Jiminez languished in 18th, the former Costa Rican champion had to have been the most underappreciated competitor at every show she entered on the pro level. Then suddenly, at the ’07 Colorado convention of quarter-turners, she leaped to the forefront of the panel’s attention—all the way up to sixth, missing a spot in the winner’s circle by one little point. About time. Ines Jiminez.

Isaac Hinds \

Meanwhile, just a continent away


More Tana Talk


The lack of marquee names set the stage for a number of firsts to take place in the J.T. Women’s Bodybuilding Classic. In the lightweights, Sarah Dunlap trimmed down to under 135 pounds to make her first appearance as a lightweight in her first contest since the ’05 Charlotte Pro and scored her first pro win, taking class and overall honors. In the heavies a radiant Stephanie Kessler, the ’06 Team Universe champ, earned her first trip to the O in her first pro competition. It was a fabulous development for both those excellent athletes. Dunlap’s decision to come in a bit smaller delivered her best-ever package, according to those in attendance, and Kessler, who managed a fourth-place finish at the tough IFBB World Amateur Championships last summer, looked great. Since Jan decided to have weight classes, only two Ms. Olympia berths were at stake, a matter of concern for some people. The low turnout—only four in the lightweights—caused some online grumbling that promoters should be able to change their mind about having weight classes if they don’t attract sufficient players. I’ve got a better idea: The judges can simply decide which of the runners-up gets the third Olympia qualification, and every show becomes a “top-three qualifier.” Had that been the case in New York, I’m guessing that the honor would have gone to Snap. Sarah Dunlap dialed down lightweight second-placer Dena Westerfield. Said one enthusiastic observer, “The best to lightweight to snag her first four women in a lightweight class I’ve seen—Dunlap, Westerfield, [Maria] Lehtonen, pro win. [Vicky] Nixon were all superb.” Now, that particular friend is prone to exaggeration on the subject of women’s bodybuilding (plus he was not present in ’01, when Juliette Bergmann beat Andrulla Blanchette before taking the overall, over Iris Kyle, at the Olympia). For the record, Sarah won her class by a 42-point margin. Online photos suggest, however, that my buddy was right about the lightweights being the tougher competition—for all that it was a little short. The heavyweight class was loaded with largely unknown European competitors. Kessler’s more-than-respectable margin of victory was 26 points. Second went to Maryse Manios of France, with Kim Buck of the USA, Irene Anderson of Sweden, Jana Linke-Sippi of Germany and Sarah Bridges of the United Kingdom, in order, rounding out the lineup.

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Felicia Forges to the Fore

Blog On

Speaking of hot rookies

Silver girl


Felicia Romero seems to have taken a shortcut to the judges’ attention in her rookie season. At the Cal, where the ’06 USA class winner from Arizona picked up a top-three finish plus an Olympia invite, she said she’d spent her time in the gym since last summer doing a little work on her legs and shoulders. She reminded me of another rookie with a pretty face and softer presentation, Elisha Archibold, who got fourth in Pittsburgh and also looked like someone to keep an eye on. Isaac Hinds \

NPC CAL CHAMPS Top trophies in the women’s ranks went to Tammy Jackson in bodybuilding and Jessica Troha in figure. For more on that sword Jess is holding, see page 276.


Tammy Jackson.

Jessica Troha.

Romero dropped to fifth in Colorado, but that was just the lull before her cross-country sprint to the finish line in New York, where she was definitely displaying a bit of shoulder cap.

The judges at the Tana seemed to delight in putting first-timers in the winner’s circle, and that carried over to the figure competition, where Felicia Romero was anointed queen for a day. Amy Fry, who’s now two for two in nabbing Olympia-qualifying spots, finished eight points behind Felicia in second, while Jeanette Freed, who just keeps looking better onstage, became the newest addition to the Figure O lineup by taking third. Jane Awad looked to be in fine condition but missed her ticket to the O by a single point, while Kristal Richardson landed a few points behind her to round out the top five. We’re three weeks out from the next string of shows as I write this, so look for results and photos from the New York (City) (July 13 and 14) and

Houston (July 21) Pro Figure shows at The latter event is being hyped in some circles as a battle between, in alphabetical order, Monica Brant, Adela Garcia and Valerie Waugaman. Yeah, right. Like we don’t know who doesn’t stand a chance coming out on top in that threeway.

Another panel pleaser: Jeanette Freed.

Isaac Hinds \

Presenting a new way to enjoy some of your favorite IRON MAN contributors, including me and L.T. Check out our blogs at IronMan—there’s no telling what we’ll say (or do). Here I am looking bloggish, chatting up the fit and famous at the Muscle Beach Venice Memorial Day contest. That’s former IM cover model Katarina Van Derham on the left.


For results and massive media coverage from all the hot figure shows—not to mention bodybuilding and fitness—keep your browser set for \ SEPTEMBER 2007 275

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I was perusing the figure judging at the NPC California Championships when IRON MAN Hot Shots king Jerry Fredrick came up to rave about a competitor in one of the taller classes who, he said, looked just like Rachel McLish. Onstage, the E-class held its breath while the judges called out the lucky ladies who would probably make the top three. The more the Merryman. Tanya takes “There she to the stage once again. is!” exclaimed Jerry. I saw the one he meant right away, and my eyes went wide. Could it be that Tanya Merryman, one-time top diva in a certain “other fitness organization,” was making her long-unanticipated appearance in the NPC? Nine years ago, right after her son Joshua was born, the 5’6” brunette ball of talent from San Jose hit the fitness world with a bang, winning the top title at that other organization, but not before she gave some friends of mine some

Meanwhile, back at the Cal interesting moments. In the intervening years Merryman enjoyed a respectable run as a fitness champ—model, trainer, choreographer and TV host for fitness competitions being a few of the slots on her résumé. The last time I saw her, in fact, was in 2000. It was backstage at a show, and she had a mike in her hand. I heard that she’d left her husband and moved to the Los Angeles area but not much after that. Till now. At the Cal. Wow. That night we had a little reunion before the finals, and Tanya recalled that it was this reporter who first noted her resemblance to McLish, the original Ms. Olympia. Tanya had remarried her husband, moved back up north and had another baby, Hunter, who’s almost a year old. After that she got a hankering to get back onstage. “I don’t know what it is about having babies that makes me want to compete,” she said with a grin, recalling our first conversation almost a decade before. Some girls just need that incentive to lose the baby fat, eh, Tanya? Despite earning an elite placing at the USA Sport Aerobic Nationals in 2001, she hadn’t really been onstage since ’99, she said. A couple of injuries suffered while training for fitness suggested that she should make her comeback in the less taxing land of figure. She took the plunge at the ’07 NPC Contra Costa, finishing third, before earning a similar placing at the Cal. “I know I’m starting at the bottom again,” said the lady with the legs to die for. It’ll be interesting to see just how quickly she gets out of there. Okaabe

Ms. Tanya Returns

In championship form in 1998.

STILL MORE TALES FROM CULVER CITY rcia t an award, Adela Ga On hand to presen how to hand Jaime Garza teaches backstage t the t. Did I mention tha go for the money sho Cal are huge swords? the overall trophies at

You can contact Ruth Silverman, fitness reporter and Pump & Circumstance scribe, in care of IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033; or via e-mail at

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has found arne of Brazil ate. Juliana Malac rough to navig rs te wa e ur says, the fig t smaller, she ge to ing try She’s ts, it’s Given her asse but even so.… the sailing could at th ict ed pr easy to g. before too lon get smoother

Chas Sloan and her hubby recently launched a new business, HealthyFamily, a full-service online travel site advertising the “best rates” for all your travel needs, including flights, hotels, cars, family vacations and honeymoons. With the contest season in full swing, there’s no reason not to check it out.

282 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Supercharge Your Power Center

Model: Daniele Seccarecci

by Bill Starr • Photography by Michael Neveux ou see as many TV commercials for fitness products and exercise routines as you do for cars and trucks. Well, almost. Turbo Jam, Red X, Bean, Hip Hop Abs (my personal favorite), along with a variety of abdominal machines, all emphasize how well they develop core strength— which I find rather comical. How in the world do you strengthen the core muscles by sitting on a well-padded bench and exercising your abs? On the other hand, I applaud their attention to the core muscles. Long before core strength became a catchword in fitness circles, bodybuilders, strength athletes and conscious coaches were striving to enhance and maintain strength in the core, or center of the body. Any strength or bodybuilding program that produced results always focused on the muscle groups that made up the core: abs, lumbars, hips and glutes.

The core is the center of power in the body—at least it should be. I’ve noticed a trend, however, that shifts attention away from the core groups to a routine made up almost entirely of upper-body exercises. Some trainees ignore the back and lower body almost completely, while others add token work that does little for strength or size gains. Their programs consist of lots and lots of bench presses, followed by inclines and flyes, along with plenty of triceps, biceps and deltoid work. What happens, in the event they succeed in their quest for huge chests and arms, is that they look silly. Even in the close network of bodybuilders, they aren’t admired. A pleasing physique is balanced, proportional and aesthetic, not top-heavy with puny legs and flat glutes. An award-winning physique starts with a solid strength base, and you accomplish that only by working the core groups hard and heavy. If a strong core is important to bodybuilders, it’s absolutely essential to strength athletes. Without a strong center, strength athletes will never be able to handle the poundages necessary for them to compete at a high level in any sport. And that includes non-contact ones such as tennis, swimming, track and certainly all the field events. Those who have my book The Strongest Shall Survive are familiar with the drawing of a figure high on his toes, his arms reaching up over his head as concentric circles radiate out from the center of his body. The circles are more concentrated at the hips and are weaker by the time they reach the ankles and wrists. I got that from the great Olympic lifter Tommy Kono, and it’s become the logo not only for my book \ SEPTEMBER 2007 283

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Without a strong center, athletes will be at a disadvantage, no matter what the sport. Core strength will help almost any athlete compete at a higher level. but for all the programs I present in this space. It clearly portrays the idea that the seat of strength in the body is the hips and glutes. The further away from the center, the weaker the muscles, attachments and joints. Once you accept that fact, designing a program is much easier. You should give the core groups priority in a routine, and you must work the exercises diligently. Token weights and staying in the comfortable range just don’t get the job done. It would be nice if they did, but the rewards are worth the extra effort. The main reason you need to spend time strengthening the core groups is that they must be very strong if they’re going to transfer power up and down your body. For example, you might be a strong squatter but haven’t bothered to work your lower back with a specific exercise. So it’s fallen behind, and the strength you have in your hips and legs can’t efficiently be transferred up into your back, shoulders

and arms. Sure, some strength moves upward, but you’re not achieving maximum productivity. That’s often the case with throwers in field events. They pay close attention to their leg strength but fail to keep their lumbars equally strong. By equal, I mean in proportion; you can’t handle the same amount of weight on a lower-back exercise that you can on any type of squat. We’ll get back to the ratio between leg and lumbar strength later. You need proportionate strength between core and upper body too. Bringing upper-body strength down through the core into the lower body is part of almost every athletic endeavor. If any muscle groups in the core are lacking in strength, the process will be diminished, along with the results. In order to build and maintain a strong core, you must pay attention to all groups involved. Some, like the abs and to a lesser degree the lumbars, can’t be worked the same way you work the larger-muscle

hips and legs. You can, however, work the abs and lower back more frequently. I encourage all my athletes to start every lifting session with one exercise each for their abs and lower back and then finish the workout with another lumbar and ab exercise. That helps in two ways. First, the two midsection movements help warm up the core, which in turn enables you to get more out of the first exercise of your routine. Second, by splitting up the work for your abs and lower back, you get less bored or annoyed, and the reps all add nicely to your total workload for those groups. As athletes get more advanced, I have them expand their warmups to include all parts of the abs: upper, lower and sides. An excellent routine that I used during my heavy training period was as follows: one set of back hyperextensions, 50 reps; one set of situps, 200 reps; 200 twists using a stick to hit the tranverse abdominals; and finish by holding the stick overhead while leaning as far as possible to one side, then doing the same for the other side, for at least 100 reps. That hit the obliques without thickening them. Many trainees use dumbbells to work their obliques, leaning from side to side, and that does strengthen the target muscles. Trouble is, the resistance tends to make them grow as well, and you’ll appear chubby because it’s difficult to tell the difference between muscle and fat. But you can get the same results by using a stick and running the reps way, way up. The obliques will get stronger and stay trim. Two-for-one deal. After you finish your workout, do a set of reverse hyperextensions for 50 reps and a set of leg raises for 200 reps. By the time you leave the gym, you’ve covered all the bases. Keep in mind that the midsection is not two separate planes made up of a front and a back but rather a continuous girdle. That means your lower back won’t get any stronger unless you make a big effort to keep the various parts of your abs proportionately as strong. Apart from the strength factor, all that ab work will make you look a lot better in a swimsuit. Before we get to specific exercises for the lumbars, though, let’s focus on the very best

284 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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exercise for developing and maintaining core strength: full squats. By full, I mean going deep, way below parallel. The deeper you go, the more muscles and corresponding attachments you involve in the exercise, resulting in greater gains. You can do squats with the barbell in front of or behind your head. Both positions are useful, and once my athletes have established a solid base, I put them both in their program. The advantage of back squats is that you can handle more weight.

Model: Jose Raymond

The seat of strength in the body is the hips and glutes. The further away from the center, the weaker the muscles, attachments and joints.

The plus for front squats is that they force you to go deep and stay very erect, thus making the core muscles work harder. The problem with front squats for many is being able to rack the bar properly. Those who lack flexibility in their shoulders and elbows—older athletes, for example—often have trouble maintaining a secure rack. In some cases, spending time building a greater range of motion enables them to eventually rack the bar solidly, and they can include front

squats in their routines. Sometimes, of course, that isn’t possible, and they have to stick with back squats—fine, so long as they set the bar high on their backs and go extremely deep. Full squats, done from front or back, work all the groups that make up the core: lumbars, hips, quadriceps, adductors, abductors, glutes and hamstrings. How, you may be thinking, are all the various groups that form the upper leg involved with the core? They’re certainly not in the center of the body. They are, however, all attached to the hips and so are very much part of the core. Grouped together, they are potentially the body’s strongest set of muscles and attachments, so it’s only logical that they need to be worked the hardest. Until you’ve established a firm foundation in that area, you need to give squats priority at every weight-room session. That means putting squats first in your routine three days a week. At Johns Hopkins, I told other coaches that any of their athletes who entered the weight room and, after warming up, went directly to the squat rack would become considerably stronger than those who opted to bench or incline first. I was always right, not just because of the value of the full squat but also because of the mind-set: Athletes who choose to do the hardest exercise in their routine first are challenging the weights, and that’s an important step in winning the battle. As most readers know, I like to use five sets of five for back squats when trainees are in the formative stage, along with the heavy, light and medium system. When the numbers start climbing and form is mastered, I recommend the following set-and-rep sequence: • Heavy day: 5x5 plus one back-off set of eight to 10 reps. • Light day: 5x5, staying approximately 50 pounds under what you did on your final set on the heavy day; no back-off. • Medium day: three sets of five reps followed by two heavy sets of three. The final set should be five or 10 more pounds than your last set on the heavy day. Add a back-off set of eight to 10 reps. • On your next heavy day do five reps with the weight you tripled on your previous medium day. I stay with lower reps for front

286 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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Good mornings, performed with legs slightly bent, train the lower back, glutes and hamstrings. They make a killer core exercise—if they’re performed correctly. squats because the bar will always move slightly out of the secure rack on every rep. So you do two warmup sets of five, then go to threes. Three sets of three are enough in the beginning, but you can add more to increase your workload as you progress. Right behind full squats in importance for building and maintaining a strong core are specific exercises for the lumbars. Not only must you include an exercise aimed directly at your lower back every week, but you must attack it as well. There’s no doubt that this is the most neglected area of the core for the simple reason that, when it’s done right, lowerback work is the most demanding in any program. Here’s the trouble: In most cases, lumbar movements are avoided, or, when one is performed, light weights are used. Numerous athletes from a wide range of sports have contacted me complaining of lower-back pain or, just as frequently, problems with one or both of their hips. I ask them what they’re doing for their lumbars. Invariably they say, “Nothing. I figure I’m giving them plenty of work with all my

pulling and squatting.” Obviously they’re not, and as soon as they begin hitting their lumbars with a specific movement, the pain goes away. It’s simply a matter of the weakest link rearing its ugly head. There’s no way to ignore that weak area. I’ve already mentioned hyperextensions and reverse hypers. If you have hyperextension benches, then you can use them as a primary lower-back exercise in addition to having them as part of your warmup and cooldown routine. I’m guessing that 95 percent or more of IRON MAN’s readers don’t have access to an apparatus that lets you load up the weights, but all have access to bars and plates, and that’s plenty. I recommend two lower-back exercises: good mornings and almoststraight-legged deadlifts. Of the two, I believe good mornings produce greater results. When the poundage gets really heavy on almost-straightlegged deadlifts, there’s a tendency to lower the hips, which shifts the stress from the lower back to other groups. Good mornings, on the other hand, require more precise

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288 SEPTEMBER 2007 \

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technique. Any attempt to cheat only makes them tougher. Plus, I always got very sore after a session with good mornings, as did 100 percent of my athletes—not the case with almost-straight-legged deadlifts. Sore is good in strength training. Good mornings are never easy, but you can make them at least palatable. Insert them into your program early on, before your squat gets into high numbers. What you want to achieve is the right balance between your good mornings and back squats. My rule of thumb: Your good mornings should be 50 percent of what you’re squatting for 10 reps. Let’s say you wait until you’re squatting 350 before adding good mornings to your program. In order to strike the right balance, you’d have to handle 175x10 on them. That’s not terribly difficult, yet it would be much easier if you’d started doing the good mornings when you got to 250 in the squat. You’d only have to deal with 125x10. Once you’ve got your balance right, it’s a simple matter of increasing the

good mornings in small increments as your squat improves. There is, however, a limitation on the 50-percent rule. When I was editing Strength & Health, a pen pal in Moscow traded me Soviet training information for copies of the magazine. One thing I learned was that the Russian Olympic lifters never went over 100 kilos (220 pounds) on their good mornings. I asked why, and he replied that the coaches felt that using more weight than that forced the lifter to alter his mechanics in order to counterbalance the weights. It changed the focal point of the exercise and didn’t isolate the lumbars nearly as much. Although I’ve made exceptions with powerlifters and other athletes who want to deadlift heavy weights, that, for the most part, is what I teach as well. For those who are squatting in the mid-500s or higher, I add extra sets of good mornings at 225 to keep their lumbars proportionately as strong as the other groups in the core. That works well. Good mornings not only strength-

Model: Mike Morris

Model: Toney Freeman

I’ve noticed a trend that shifts attention away from the core groups to a routine made up almost entirely of upper-body exercises. A pleasing physique is balanced, proportional and aesthetic, not topheavy with puny legs and flat glutes.

The plus for front squats is that they force a lifter to go deep and stay very erect, thus making the core muscles work harder. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 289

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Model: Allen Sarkiszadeh

en the lumbars, but they also work the hamstrings and glutes very directly—more good stuff for the core. In fact, the majority of my athletes have told me that it’s their hamstrings or glutes, much more than their lumbars, that reminded them why they called the exercise “tomorrow mornings.” The weakest group will be the one that reports in the next day. That’s what you’re after—finding and strengthening the weaker muscles. There are three ways to do good mornings: flat back, rounded back and while seated. I’ve been criticized in Internet chat rooms for advocating rounded-back good mornings on the grounds that rounding the back places the disks between the vertebrae under extreme pressure and can cause them to impinge on the spinal nerves. Well, the spine—hello?—was designed to act as an arch and be rounded. It was only about four million years ago that our ancestors began to move in an upright position, though you’ve probably seen a few examples at the supermarket who looked as if they’d joined our species 50 years ago. The curvature in your lower back can handle bending forward. What it can’t tolerate is bending backward, as in pressing a weight with an extreme layback. If rounding the back while moving heavy poundage caused back injury, all powerlifters in the world would be in traction; they all round with their max deadlifts. The reason powerlifters don’t get hurt and the reason rounded-back good mornings aren’t dangerous is that the athletes slowly work up to the heavy weights and in the process condition their muscles to handle the increased stress. To be sure, if you tried to lift a weight far beyond your capabilities, you’d run the risk of hurting your back. But that’s true of any lift. In the course of teaching good mornings to thousands of athletes at Johns Hopkins University, I saw only one athlete—a football player—injure his lower back doing the exercise. Reason: He did way too much too soon. On the first day of the off-season strength program he decided that he was going to match his best good morning from the previous year. He hadn’t trained seriously since midsummer yet set

I encourage all my athletes to do one exercise for their abs and lower back before they start their lifting program for that day and then finish the session with another lumbar and ab move. out to do 225x10 on the first day back—without mentioning his plan to me. At 195, he pulled a lumbar on the right side, and it took him three months to fully recover. It wasn’t the fault of the exercise or the way he performed it but rather his eagerness to regain his former strength without going through the necessary process of reestablishing a base. Establishing a base is a law of nature that you break at your peril, no matter how determined you might be. Having said that, I don’t take

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Model: Daryl Gee

On squats go deep, below parallel. The deeper you go, the more muscles you involve. More muscles, plus corresponding attachments results in greater gains. chances either. Whenever someone tells me that the rounded-back version hurts him—and I don’t mean the exertion of doing the lift itself but some other kind of pain—I have him switch to the flat-back style. In fact, I encourage everyone to try both styles and decide which one provides the most feedback the following day. It’s really a matter of selecting the type of good morning that feels right and gives the greater results. I also have my athletes do seated good mornings occasionally, about every five or six weeks. Unless you have some sort of injury that limits you to doing only the seated variety, you shouldn’t do them more often because they’re easier than the standing styles. I alternate the sets and reps every other week. While the difference between A and B weeks is slight, it’s enough to elicit a change in the response of your body. Week A: four sets of 10; week B: five sets of eight. The total number of reps is identical, but I move the final set a bit higher on the eight-rep week, such as 220x10 followed by 225x8. Even

though the weight used on the eight-rep week is a bit higher, the load is lighter, and those small bumps help my lifters elevate the numbers to keep their strength ratio to 50 percent of their back squats. It’s just enough of a variation to promote growth and build variety into the program. Next time I’ll go over several other excellent exercises that help strengthen the core and discuss in detail the correct form to use on the lifts I recommend. I’ll also suggest how to incorporate them all into a functional routine. In the meantime start going deep in your squats and find out which version of good mornings suits you best. Editor’s note: Bill Starr was a strength and conditioning coach at Johns Hopkins University from 1989 to 2000. He’s the author of The Strongest Shall Survive— Strength Training for Football, which is available for $20 plus shipping from Home Gym Warehouse. Call (800) 447-0008, or visit IM

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Mind How to stay on the big-gain train

Cumulative Consequences


aybe you remember the fable about the ant and grasshopper. While the ant toiled steadily, the grasshopper played. Days, weeks and months went by, and when winter came, there was a huge difference in how each was prepared to face the coming cold. Consider how those approaches work in the gym—as well as out of it—and whether you’re running your life in a way that will help you reach your goals. For just about everyone the first day in the gym is terrific: Attitude is great, effort is there, enthusiasm is bubbling over, and plans to conquer the world abound. A week later things still look good, but a month down the road attrition is showing. Three months later a lot of people are back on the couch, the remote within easy reach, and since they no longer go to the gym, they have a few extra hours each week for their favorite Internet activities. Meanwhile, the people who are plugging away in the gym are starting to morph. Stomachs are shrinking and getting harder, chests are swelling, and weights that used to stay glued to the floor are magically light. The real magic, though, seems to be going on under their skin—there’s simply something about the way they walk. Whatever that thing is, it’s positive, and they seem to apply it to whatever they do—things related to lifting and things not. What’s happened, basically, is that those who continued to train learned the skills necessary for succeeding, while those who quit learned the skills that make failure likely. Unless you’re Paul Anderson, you don’t just walk into the gym on the first day and bang out honest squats with 400 pounds. Throw four 45s on each end of the bar, put the average guy under it, and watch 405 pounds drop him like a blow from a sledgehammer. On the other hand, virtually any guy lucky enough to be born within the wide range considered “normal” can look forward to repping out with that same weight if he trains wisely and diligently. As odd as it

might sound, the wise part of that equation is the easy part; it’s diligence that makes or breaks people. Slow and steady is the sure path to victory. Meticulously planned training cycles and the use of microplates reflect the common belief in doing what you can to keep moving forward. The most important point, however, is to show up, day in and day out, because small differences day by day add up to huge differences. That’s why devotion to duty leads to such rich dividends over the long haul. Even better, conscientious effort carries an extremely valuable fringe benefit—whatever you’re doing becomes habit-forming. By training steadily, you’ll not only reap the direct benefits of consistent effort, but you’ll also find that it’s easier to get into the gym when you’re supposed to. The process works in the other direction as well: Each time you skip a workout, it becomes easier to skip the next one. Though lifting weights is always going to be more work than staying in bed, there are things you can do to make it more likely that you’ll hit the gym armed for progress rather than while away your life on the couch. If you’re surrounded by achievement-oriented role models, chances are you’ll have learned the attitudes, skills and behavior to make headway yourself. If you aren’t surrounded by successful role models, focus your efforts on 1) realizing how you control your situation, and 2) trying to identify and surround yourself with the people, images and activities that are most likely to produce success. For example, if your family doesn’t model the most appropriate attitudes, skills and behavior for success, don’t let that limit you. Establish a different set of reference points for yourself. Identify people who demonstrate what it takes to get ahead, and learn how they do things. Mentally surround yourself with images that will take you forward. Every gym has a group that never misses training and another group that’s always at half-throttle when it comes to commitment. You know which group you should identify with. With the help of your reference group and positive images, day by day you march steadily Neveux \ Model: Ken Yasuda



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Body Editor’s note: Randall Strossen, Ph.D., edits the quarterly magazine MILO. He’s the author of IronMind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies; Super Squats: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks and Paul Anderson: The Mightiest Minister. For more information call IronMind Enterprises Inc. at (530) 265-6725 or Home Gym Warehouse at (800) 447-0008, ext. 1. Visit the IronMind Web site at


Neuronutrient Uppers


our body uses specific neuronutrients to make mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. One key neuronutrient is L-tyrosine, which helps make dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Try 500 milligrams on an empty stomach—perhaps when you first get out of bed—to get happier. —Becky Holman

Neveux \ Model: Sebastian Siegel

toward your goals. Try to keep the process enjoyable, and use goals to motivate you and sustain you through the tough times. If you’re struggling to boost your squat weight, think about each five- or 10-pound jump along the way; think of how much more impressive the bar looks each time you slap on another pair of 25s; and keep in mind that every time another pair of 45s goes on the bar, you’ve reached a major milestone. Pat yourself on the back each time you reach one of your goals, and then set your sights on your next one. To make goal setting even more effective, keep your goals in context and dynamic. Context means you know why you aspire to a particular goal so it has some value beyond your being able to say, “I squatted with 315 for 20 reps today.” Maybe, for instance, you take particular pride in the fact that 315 means you had three 45s on each side of the bar, and when you started, just one was enough to make your knees shake. Or maybe you made a deal with yourself that when you hit 315x20, you’d buy a pair of real weightlifting shoes. Perhaps 315x20 means you’d reached a size or strength point you wanted, for example, to play football. Use context to add flesh to your goals, and that will help you use your goals to motivate each workout. Keeping your goals dynamic can help you stay on course. Let’s say that you have a goal to power-clean 225 pounds, but you injure your wrist, so you can’t do power cleans at the moment. You can head for the sidelines, or you can modify your plan. Maybe you can do clean pulls or good mornings and a lot of squats. The point is, some people quit as soon as they get a hangnail, and other people find a way to train even when they’re in a cast. You can guess who makes progress and who doesn’t. Progress, in all walks of life, is a wonderful thing. What’s especially nice is that when you work hard, you have a pronounced tendency to go forward, which means you control your destiny. Small, steady steps will take you where you want to go, because where you end up is a consequence of your cumulative actions. —Randall Strossen, Ph.D.


Mind the Mint recent study at Wheeling Jesuit University shows that certain scents can heighten brain and body responses, according to the June ’07 Prevention. Athletes felt more invigorated postexercise after inhaling peppermint aroma during exercise than subjects who weren’t exposed to the minty smell. Other studies have shown that peppermint can actually increase strength. Try chewing a stick of peppermint sugarless gum during your workout. Your training partner may benefit too—and stop calling you Protein Breath. —Becky Holman

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Bomber Blast


It’s All in the Mind, Smiley

Mental Health

Wine for the Mind


cientists at Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory in New York found that the resveratrol in red wine curbs the formation of the beta-amyloid protein that’s linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Because it also lowers blood cholesterol levels, red wine appears to improve circulation to the brain, which also improves memory. —Becky Holman

nessing personal insight into my weightlifting and muscle building? Could it be I’ve been too involved for too many years with too few diversions, and I was devolving? The first grim face, a sign of mental fatigue—world-weariness; the second droopy kisser, an image of physical fatigue—listlessness; the third sorrowful countenance, an indication of spiritual fatigue—faithlessness. It’s better to be clairvoyant than a weak-willed person given to superstition. Obviously I’ve been gifted with the power to read coffee beans and associated splatters. There’s money to be gained here somewhere. I’ll place a blinking neon sign in my window: PSYCHIC—Coffee Bean Readings—OPEN. We must learn to separate ourselves from our pressurized gym environs, those heavy-duty workshops where muscle and might battle for superiority. The gym must be reserved for our training only, and our time beyond the gym walls should be reserved for our duties and entertainments, family and friends apart from the deeds of the gym. Further, our dietary needs, which grant us immeasurable strength, health and clarity, ought to be greeted with appreciation, not spoiled, weak-willed protest. We can get so wrapped up in our fitness pursuits that we exceed our capacity to savor and enjoy them, and, thus, we inhibit and destroy them. Oversaturation is not uncommon and leads to self-destruction—implosion. We need balance. We must learn to compartmentalize. We should go with the flow and lighten up as conditions permit. Gauging ourselves without compromising our training enthusiasm and dedication is the key. We sometimes think that commitment to a worthy and tough goal requires fanatical devotion. Do or die; all or nothing; now or never. I frequently say “blast it” to make a point: that is, train hard, consistently and joyfully. Working out hard and eating smart are good things till they approach obsession; then they become weird and extreme, and we burn out. We lose. What do we do? There’s so much to know. How hard, how often and when should we exercise? What works for you? Will it work for me? When I’m stumped, or bored, or uninspired, unmotivated, uninterested or uncaring, defeated or in doubt, I say, “Be strong; this too will pass.” And I work out with what reserve and resources I have at hand. The obstructions are tough to overcome, yet overcoming them provides skill, savvy and practice for like obstacles in the future. Any road worthy of pursuit is strewn with frustrating and bone-breaking challenges, each presenting critical instruction, and rejoicing, in eventual conquest. Throttle forward. —Dave Draper Neveux \ Models: Clark and Anita Bartram


t’s gonna be a long day. I splashed coffee as I poured my morning cup, and the subsequent splatter formed an unmistakable smiley face—one with a turned-down mouth. No biggie. I registered the mishap and went about my business. Within the hour I poured a second sloppy cup, repeating the splash sequence, and formed another unhappy face, this one almost mean in expression. Getting careless, I observed, yet the coincidence did not escape my attention. A third cup, not for me but for Laree, was poured with extra care and not a drop dared go astray. I added a dash of milk, and the cup held its contents heroically. Emboldened, I grasped the mug assertively, Men Rule inscribed on its side, and it spat a rebellious arc of steamy java from its thick lip. A sneering droopy face, number three, formed on the tabletop. I froze. It’s gonna be a long, long day. I was scheduled for a major blast at the blasting site, the Weight Room Santa Cruz, and now this. I’m not a superstitious person, yet some things in life cannot be explained. That’s one of them. I’m hesitant to dismiss three consecutive scowling faces revealed by errant coffee spatterings in a single morning. Rats! Ruffled but undaunted—45 years under the iron tends to quash doubt and despair—I completed my morning tasks and prepared for my two-hour bout of metal against might. We read too much into daily coincidence. Seldom do I approach my workouts without scrutiny, psychingup and a touch of anxiety. When I was younger, this prepping ritual was extensive and demanding, and I often found myself emotionally and psychologically spent by time I stood before the racks and benches. It was as if the deed had already been done twice over; I was exhausted, on the verge of overtraining, in need of oxygen and a change of view. Hmmm, I wondered, was that the craftsman of the three grim faces I imagined staring my way from the countertop during my morning breaks? Am I so utterly consumed with weight training and muscle building outside the gym that I face weariness and discontent inside? These were my thoughts as I traveled Highway 1 toward the Weight Room. The safe and familiar confines of my vehicle make a welcome think tank for unraveling my daily dilemmas. Am I wit-

Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit and sign up for his free newsletter. You can also check out his amazing Top Squat training tool, classic photos, workout Q&A and forum.

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New Stuff

MenScience Androceuticals t’s an interesting new company. MenScience Androceuticals provides a full line of grooming, skin-care and nutritional products scientifically developed for the unique needs and characteristics of men. MenScience is committed to developing products based on professional and dermatological-grade ingredients that deliver tangible benefits. Its undivided focus is on effectiveness and visible results, and it avoids distractions such as fancy packaging and marketing fluff. MenScience’s customers come from all ages and walks of life and have one thing in common: They expect the highest performance from their personal and nutritional products. MenScience believes in informed consumers and provides reliable content to complement its products’ effectiveness and promote better health overall. For more on MenScience and MenScience products, visit the company’s Web site at


New Stuff


Chad Nicholls reveals Nxlabs’ newest breakthrough


ontest prep guru Chad Nicholls recently let a few industry insiders in on NxLabs’ hottest creation yet. “I barely had a chance to catch my breath after working with the guys at NxLabs to formulate Plasmavol—also found in the Pump System—before they were asking for my input on Betasine,” he said. “Those guys just don’t stop, and neither does this stuff. It’s a combo of beta-alanine and carnosine, which adds up to a serious weapon for busting through any training plateau. The best part is that you know it works because it gives you a tingling sensation all over your body almost right away.” The researchers at NxLabs tell us that new Betasine is bodybuilding’s first beta-alanine-plus-carnosine muscle-building formula that delivers clinically proven, advanced ingredients that can jack up your bench by 18.6 percent fast. It’s also been shown to supercharge muscle power by 14.5 percent. NxLabs promises superior bioavailability and delivery through nanoparticulated and ethylated beta-alanine and carnosine, which is immediately released via HyperExplode caplets. For a free bottle of Betasine and your chance to experience explosive strength, muscle growth and intensity, call (800) 511-1229 (while supplies last). For more information visit Available exclusively at GNC. \ SEPTEMBER 2007 295

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Gallery of Ironmen


Abner S. Brady


he history of early American weight training is sketchy at best. A few figures have been well publicized, but the vast majority of those athletic pioneers have been forgotten. One amazing but littleknown figure in the history of sport was Abner S. Brady. Unfortunately, there’s almost no information on him or his contributions. A few facts can be pieced together, and they prove that he was a weight trainer who was decades ahead of most of his contemporaries. Brady was born around 1835, probably in New York, and he almost certainly enlisted in the Army and became a gymnastics instructor. In 1861 he opened Brady’s Seventh

Photos courtesy of the David Chapman collection

thing about these pictures, however, is that they are some of the earliest examples of physique photography in the United States. Photographer Alexander Gardner took the accompanying pictures in February 1865, and their purpose was clearly to show off the man’s musculature and physical prowess. A few days after the photos were taken, Brady participated in a gala gymnastics demonstration at Ford’s Theatre featuring some of his star students and a special performance by the renowned Hanlon Brothers acrobats. President Lincoln was present for the festivities that evening. All students of American history know that Lincoln returned to the theater a few weeks later and was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, but only a few recall that the Great Emancipator enjoyed The interior of Abner S. Brady’s an athletic display prior to his Washington, D.C., gymnasium, 1865. date with the ages. Abner S. Brady remained Regiment Gymnasium in New York at the head of his gymnasium until City, and soon it boasted nearly a he disappeared from history. The last thousand clients. Since the United known reference to the pioneer gym States was embroiled in its bloody owner is in May 1866. Civil War at this time, Brady concen—David Chapman trated on getting fighting men up to snuff or keeping veterans in good physical condition. Sometime before 1865 Brady moved to the nation’s capital, where he opened a larger and more richly appointed gymnasium on Louisiana Avenue, within sight of the U.S. Capitol. Brady’s Washington Gymnasium was a massive structure featuring all the latest exercise equipment. An engraving from a contemporary broadside shows men working out with weights and climbing ladders, boxing and performing various other physical exercises. Some rare photos of the gym owner have also survived, and they show that he was a healthy specimen of manliness. The most amazing

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Sex Supplements

Keep the Drive Alive


ginseng and vitamin C to increase her energy—in and out of the bedroom. —Becky Holman www.X-tremeLean .com

Neveux \ Models: Amy Lynn and Adrian Janicke

odybuilders are taking nitric oxide precursors to enhance the pump in the gym, but a pump can be enhanced elsewhere too. A recent double-blind study found that L-arginine, a potent nitric oxide precursor, helped improve sexual dysfunction in women when it was combined with a ginkgo-and-ginseng product. Also, vitamin C helps. Men, tell your gal to take L-arginine, ginkgo, Best Sellers 2) 10-Week Size Surge by IRON MAN Publishing 3) The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Joseph Horrigan, D.C., and Jerry Robinson 4) Ronnie Coleman’s Hardcore 5) The Precontest Bible by Larry Pepe

DVDs/Videos: 1) “Jay Cutler—One Step Closer” 2) “Ronnie Coleman: Relentless” 3) “2006 Mr. Olympia” 4) “IRON MAN’s Swimsuit Spectacular #9” 5) “2007 IRON MAN Pro” Books: 1) Train, Eat, Grow—The Positionsof-Flexion Muscle-Training Manual by Steve Holman

Top E-book: X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts—10 Complete Print-and-Go Size and Strength Programs by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson (available at www .X-Rep .com.

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In Praise of Female Muscle physique is viewed. Women athletes have worked hard in the weight room and have the bodies to show for it. Actresses, models and other women concerned about their appearance routinely work out in gyms, hire personal trainers and strive to build hardbodies to a degree that would have been rare or even unheard of decades ago. For the most part, the most sexually desirable women in our culture have generally been young. Every season a new crop of barely legal bikini-clad beauty contestants arrives on the scene to supplant those who arrived a year or two earlier. It is not that unusual for models in the fashion world to start as early as 14 and be out of the business by their late 20s. Traditionally, as those girls turned into women, they found themselves less in demand. Remember the premise of the movie “The First Wives Club”: Successful men often trade in their wives as they age for younger trophies. That’s changing, however. By using training and diet strategies derived from bodybuilding, women can become more attractive and have better bodies as they get older. It’s rare to see women in the upper levels of physique competition who are not at least 30 years old or close to it. The hardbody is a mature physique, not that of an adolescent girl. Youth may fade, but the hardbody can keep improving for decades. The fact that women—and men—can build and maintain fit and attractive bodies that actually improve with age is itself a cultural (and medical) revolution. Hardbodies not only look better and stay looking good for a longer time, but they are also healthier and age at a much slower rate. There’s no doubt that modern Homo sapiens live much longer than in the past. How nice that there are training and diet techniques available, developed over 60 years of competitive bodybuilding, that give us the opportunity to stay fit, strong, healthy—and sexy—throughout an increasingly extended life span. —Bill Dobbins

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Dobbins \ \ Mdels: Yaxeni Oriquen, Iris Kyle and Heather Policky


umping Iron author Charles Gaines calls the emergence of women who develop their muscles for aesthetic reasons “a new archetype.” He points out that history is full of examples of men being admired for their muscular bodies—from the ancient Greeks to Michelangelo to the highly sculpted physiques of modern athletes. No matter how hard you look, though, you’ll see no similar examples involving women. What you see on the stages of female bodybuilding, figure and fitness competitions is indeed something new under the sun. No matter how strenuously the federations and contest judges try to deny it, those women are all bodybuilders. The difference is in degree, not in kind. Some “physique women” arouse much less controversy than those in the bodybuilding world. WWE wrestler China is bigger than many female bodybuilders yet was twice featured in Playboy. Next to the vast majority of women physique competitors tennis star Serena Williams is a giant. But you won’t find attacks on her gender identity or sexuality in Sports Illustrated. Check out the muscularity on the top female sprinters in the world. They all look as if they were about to enter a bodybuilding competition. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be a reluctance to accept the idea of bodybuilding itself. Developing muscle for the purpose of improving athletic performance is acceptable; building muscle for primarily aesthetic purposes is suspect. So it isn’t the muscle that bothers people—it’s the context. Because the whole idea of females building beautiful muscular bodies is so new and revolutionary, it shouldn’t surprise you that these women have encountered cultural opposition to their efforts. But rather than dwelling on the attacks, try instead to focus on their successes. Since the early 1980s there’s been a sea-change in how the fit female

IRON MAN’s Rising Stars / Photography by Issac Hines

Huong Arcinas Age: 26 Height: 4’11” Weight: 91 contest, 96–98 off-season Residence: San Jose, California Occupation: Personal trainer Contest Highlights: ’07 Junior USA, class A, 1st; ’05 Figure Nationals, class A, 3rd Factoid: Married with children, five years and nine months! Contact address: \ SEPTEMBER 2007 301

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Readers Write

Arnold, the Great

Just Say “Know”

ARNOLD PHOTO SPECTACULAR: Incredible Full-Page Pullouts

Rare, Vintage

I appreciate your articles on pro bodybuilders’ training, but as far as I’m concerned, they don’t know jack when it comes to drug-free training. Twenty sets per bodypart, zerocarb diets—it’s all irrelevant to the majority of us who don’t use drugs and have average genetics. Kelly Sinclair Portland, OR

Full-Page Pics of

Editor’s note: We look at IRON MAN as a training journal first and foremost, so we include pro training as well as the workouts of drug-free bodybuilders. We agree that the pros’ routines are somewhat irrelevant to the majority, but they’re still interesting, and sometimes you can pick up a tip or two that you can apply to your own training.

ARNOLD A 60th-Birthday Celebration

GIANT ARMS Ammunition to Get Q&A Your Guns Growing IM PRO WINNER

HIT Me Again

TONEY FREEMAN His X-Man Training Program and Diet

3D BACK BLASTS Positions-of-Flexion Workouts AUGUST 2007 $5.98


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PLUS: •Ellington Darden’s High-Intensity Training •Getting Started With Mr. Natural Olympia •Vitamin E—New Findings You Need to Know

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6/1/07 12:50:52 PM

The August IRON MAN cover was magnificent! I don’t recall ever seeing that shot of Arnold. It rivals your last cover that featured him on the beach. I’ve read comments from people saying that Arnold lacked leg development, but I think that’s what a bodybuilder’s legs should look like—well muscled but still appearing capable of athletic feats. Pro bodybuilders today have adductors that rub all the way down to their knees. That must create one helluva rash, not to mention jostling the jewels (wait, anabolics reduce the jewels to raisins, so I guess that’s not a problem). Cal Stephenson Seattle, WA Editor’s note: That cover shot was a vintage Gene Mozée photo of Arnold. We’re not sure it’s ever been published. There were a few more of Gene’s rare shots in the photo feature that were amazing. Our thanks to Gene. As for your jewels-to-raisins comment, we never thought of that, but now you’ve killed our taste for Raisin Bran.

Creatine Cred Thanks to Jerry Brainum for his informative article on creatine [“Creatine Fact vs. Fiction,” June ’07]. The antiaging effects and ability to enhance growth hormone release got my attention, as I’m 52. Mike Margolis via Internet

It was good to hear from Ellington Darden again [“HIT Redux,” July ’07]. I’ve been a fan of his since High-Intensity Training and Super High-Intensity Training. He’s inspiring, and his stories about Arthur Jones, Nautilus and the old bodybuilding and lifting stars are priceless. Thanks for putting the interview in IM. Oh, his new book is one of his best, by the way. Kevin McGowen via Internet Editor’s note: Darden’s new book, The New Bodybuilding for OldSchool Results, is one of our favorites of his tomes. We highly recommend it.

Iron Inspiration

Dave Goodin.

[Drug-free bodybuilder] Dave Goodin is one inspirational guy [“Arms & Shoulders Shredder Style,” July ’07]. It’s still hard to believe he’s 48. I just turned 40, and his ripped physique is what’s driving me to hit the gym hard lately. If he can do it pushing 50, I can do it too. Thanks. Samuel Turner via Internet Editor’s note: Dave’s new column, Shtredded Muscle, starts next month in IRON MAN. Vol. 66, No. 9: IRON MAN (ISSN #0047-1496) is published monthly by IRON MAN Publishing, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Periodical Mail is paid at Oxnard, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Please allow six to eight weeks for change to take effect. Subscription rates—U.S. and its possessions: new 12-issue subscription, $29.97. Canada, Mexico and other foreign subscriptions: 12 issues, $49.97 sent Second Class. Foreign orders must be in U.S. dollars. Send subscriptions to IRON MAN, 1701 Ives Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033. Or call 1-800-570-4766. Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the USA.

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Ironman Magazine 2007-09